Defender of IndyCar

Gentrification At The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Beyond

In my continuing series of Speedway improvement ideas, I have some solutions to improve the bottom line. Please forgive this recurring theme, but I have a lot of energy about it. This idea could also quiet idiot critics who believe empty seats are a sure sign the race and the institution is doomed, never mind that 99% of every other sport and entertainment venue fails to sell out these days either.

It is my belief that the following stands should be removed, and then re-deployed in the infield. Both in turns and along the road course:

-South Vista

-Chucks of the Northeast Vista from the backstretch into turn 3

-North Vista

In all cases, the seats just are not that great. One alternative is to rebuild the stands, only higher and more comfy to accommodate the increasingly large people who sit in them. Plus. If Randy and crew really want 240mph+ laps, the chances of flying chunks of carbon fiber increase in accidents. Removing seats from impact zones is probably a smart idea.

Here is a much better idea for replacement of each: Multiple story condos with terraced balconies. Price and configure them for year-round occupancy. That removes the ebb and flow of trying to sell expensive suite space for far more than it is worth. Plus, you could bake in the money for which you might sell the seats disguised as  some sort of HOA fee. That type of improvement would dovetail the impressive efforts of the Speedway redevelopment folks and could kick start meaningful gentrification of the sleazeball slums that are currently decaying three of four sides of the Speedway, much like cancer destroys the human body. Go even further by lining the backstretch with new condos.

If the existing stands were re-deployed in the infield, even more revenue generation opportunities would be created, particularly if bold steps were taken to get Formula 1 back on a track where it belongs.

It is obvious that current bean counting at IMS probably precludes meaningful capital expenditure, but those types of bold improvements have always characterized the facility since 1946. Why stop now? I would buy one or two.


3 replies to “Gentrification At The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Beyond

  1. They have already done one thing that I think is a big mistake. They are selling “infield tickets” now in a package to all IMS events. Previously this had only been done for the 500. What that means is you have to deal with a bunch of young out of control people who are not there to watch the race, but to drink. This really reverses everything Tony George had tried to do to make IMS more fan friendly. I have had tickets to the Brickyard since the beginning in 1994, but this year will probably be my last.

    The crowds on Carb day were so out of control the last couple years that my kids don’t ever want to go back.

    Good ideas Defender, but those running IMS are going in a different direction. It’s not a good one.

  2. And they need to get rid of the F1 garages, reconfigure the tower terrace back to what it should be. I like the idea of backstretch condos, just so they don’t destroy too much of the golf course.

  3. They definitely need to focus on better/more seats in the turns. I know they like to have a continuous run of seats for the whole track (minus the backstretch), but the experience would be so much better if someone could migrate from the middle of the turn to seats IN the turn. I sat up high in turn 3 at the B-Yard 400 and those seats were breathtaking. If only I could score those for the 500…

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