[Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway press release]
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 22, 2014 – An extensive review that included consultation with some of the world’s leading experts in innovative stadium strategies has produced a new gate entry plan that will allow fans attending the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race to enter the facility with greater ease and efficiency than ever before.
This year, IMS will open eight additional gates to fans entering the facility, as the open gate total goes from 18 in 2013 to 26 on Sunday. The opening of these eight new gates will, in turn, increase the total number of entry lanes from 77 to 182, with 12 express lanes for those entering the facility without coolers or bags.
In order to support these new entry points, IMS has increased the number of gate staff from approximately 300 in 2013 to nearly 700 this year. Plus, IMS has changed the ticket stubbing process to ticket marking, thus cutting down entry time per person even further.
Much of this year’s plan was first implemented last summer during the 20th Running of the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com. The new entry procedures and locations provided fans a smoother entry into the facility and additional modifications for this year’s Indianapolis 500 should decrease wait times significantly from 2013.
“In an effort to provide a safer experience for our fans, we are scrutinizing coolers and bags much more heavily than in the past and it can mean longer wait times,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “However, the wait time should be significantly less than 2013 with significantly more gates, lanes, and employees this year. We are also encouraging fans to show up earlier than 9:30 a.m. if possible to avoid the peak time at our gates, which usually occurs between 10 and 11:30 a.m.”
Gates open this year that haven’t been in the past include: 1A, 1B.1, 3 (doubled in size), 5A, 6A, 6B, 7 and 9.
Express lanes can be found at the following Gates: 1, 1B.1, 3 (two express lanes), 6 (two express lanes), 6A, 7 (two express lanes), 8 and 9 (two express lanes).
As far as getting to the track goes, fans should plan their routes ahead of time for an easier, more efficient drive to the track. Now in its third year, the KNOW YOUR ZONE program is designed to help Speedway guests identify the best driving routes to parking lots located near their respective seating locations.
“All Roads Lead to Indy” driving routes have been created by the Indiana State Police and match KNOW YOUR ZONE colors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
• Orange: The southern end of IMS.
• Red: The northern end of IMS.
• Green: Between the Orange (southern) and Red (northern) zones.
With the track opening at 5:30 a.m. on Indianapolis 500 Race Day and the race beginning at noon, officials suggest fans arrive in Marion County no later than 8:00 a.m. to ensure getting to IMS in time to experience all the traditional pre-race activities and the start of the race.
For more information about the KNOW YOUR ZONE program, including details about special ticket and parking packages, visit www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/knowyourzone.
This year’s entry plan also includes “air traffic control” on the roof of the Paddock Penthouse to help direct pedestrian traffic to less crowded gates via real-time audio communication to fans, and the separation of will call, general admission and reserved seat purchasing locations on the north end of the facility. Improvements in print-at-home ticket scanning at IMS also will assist in smoother traffic flow at all future events.
Other items to note for Indianapolis 500 race day:
• Georgetown Road will be closed at 7 a.m. to all vehicular traffic between 16th Street on the south and 25th Street
• Those race patrons with placards accustomed to entering IMS Gate 7 will have to enter through Gate 2 (W. 16th Street) or Gate 10 (30th Street)
• Upon completion of the race, Georgetown Road will remain closed to vehicular traffic until the vast majority of race pedestrian foot traffic clears from the roadway (approximately 1 hour after the race)
• No coolers larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches can be brought into the facility on Coors Light Carb Day or Indianapolis 500 Race Day – this will be strictly enforced
• Fans will be allowed to bring one cooler and one standard backpack or book bag per person