SPEEDWAY, Ind. — For the first time since 1949 and 1950, Hoosiers in central Indiana will be able to watch the Greatest Spectacle in Racing live from the comfort of their home.
IMS officials announced Wednesday that they’re lifting the blackout for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, which is a sellout.
The local blackout is a long-standing tradition for the race, with fans used to listening to the 500 on the radio or going to the race only to watch the rebroadcast at home.
IMS officials said earlier this week that they would consider lifting the blackout if the race sold out.
"We are excited to announce the first sellout in the history of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman and Company.
Miles said suites, reserve seats and infield general admission tickets for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 are sold out.
"This sellout is a testament to the enduring legacy of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing," he said.
"With no way to accommodate more fans here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race day, we're also announcing that we're suspending the television delay in Indianapolis, making it possible for those who can't be with us on race day to watch the 100th running live," Miles told reporters.
Miles said the rebroadcast of the race will continue this year, allowing fans who attended the race to watch it when they return home.
IMS president Doug Boles called it a "pretty exciting day" for the Indianapolis 500 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He said his staff has worked hard to reach out to fans and get them excited for the 100th running. He said IMS representatives went to all 92 counties to drum up enthusiasm.
According to Boles, the 1911 Indianapolis 500 had a crowd of about 80,000. Before World War II, as many as 170,000 people attended the race. He's excited that fans will be able to see the race live if they're unable to get to IMS on Sunday.
"Mostly this is a day for all of us to celebrate as Hoosiers and celebrate this great community. This does not happen. We don't sell out our reserve seats, we don't sell out our infield, we don't allow the delay to be live without the great support of everybody in the state of Indiana."
Boles and Miles both reiterated that this will be the largest crowd or feel like the largest crowd at IMS since the 80s and 90s. Because of that, they say fans should arrive extra early for race day.
IMS announced that reserve tickets sold out on May 6. The broadcast represents the third time the race has been broadcast live in central Indiana in its history.
Boles and Miles said customers who already have Snake Pit tickets or IMS parking passes but have not purchased general admission tickets will still be able to do so. If this applies to you, you should plan to purchase and pick up your tickets in person before the weekend begins.
As a last resort, fans unable to do so should present their Snake Pit wristband or parking pass at the gate on Race Day, and attendants will sell general admission tickets.