INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 is the hottest ticket in town, now that race organizers have announced all seats, suites and the infield have been sold out for Sunday's race.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has almost 250,000 reserved seats and with the infield around the 2.5-mile oval packed in, organizers expect the crowd to be from 350,000 to 375,000.
The biggest winner: Ticket brokers and scalpers.
General admission tickets, which were $40 at face value, are now going for almost $140 at online sites. Seats that originally cost $50 to $230 are now going for anywhere from $180 to $862, as of Wednesday afternoon, on vividseats.com. Suites cost significantly more.
StubHub was charging from $160 to $1,540 for reserved seats. Penthouse tickets were upward of $4,500 and the most expensive suite tickets were listed at $9,999.
Too expensive? At least the race will be on television, and not just on the national ABC telecast. For only the third time in race history — and the first time since the 1950s — viewers in Indianapolis and other parts of central Indiana will be able to watch the race live.
"''With no way to accommodate more fans at IMS, we are delighted to be able to suspend the television delay in Indianapolis," speedway President Doug Boles said. Local fans can watch it twice, too, since usual tape-delayed race will be aired again later on WRTV, the local ABC affiliate.
Boles had one clear message for those coming to the race: Arrive early.
PLAYING IT SAFE: Indy 500 fans can expect to see enhanced security measures Sunday morning. Among the changes are automated license plate readers and bomb-sniffing dogs that will be used for cars parking inside the track, more security at parking lots around the track and private security workers dedicated to checking coolers and bags. Boles said all 24 gates will be open in hopes of minimizing lines.
NEW SPONSORS: American driver Sage Karam and Spanish driver Oriol Servia will be riding with new sponsors Sunday. Karam's team, Dreyer & Reinbold-Kingdom Racing, will carry WILSHAW, a partnership between Indy commercial real estate firms Loftus Robinson and Scannell Properties, will be a major associate sponsor on the No. 24 car. Servia will ride with a Palm Beach Driving Club decal on his helmet. Servia drives for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Three-time race winner Dario Franchitti thinks former IndyCar driver Paul Tracy belongs in the winner's club. Many fans agree. But when officials ruled that Tracy's late pass of Helio Castroneves came after the yellow flag waved during the 2002 race, Tracy was forced to move behind Castroneves and finished second. Tracy appealed the decision and a final ruling didn't come until July. But even now, Franchitti thinks they got it wrong. "I feel bad for Paul because I believe that day he earned that one," Franchitti said Wednesday. "I'm sad that his face is not on the Borg-Warner (Trophy)."
BUSY WEEK: On Monday, all 33 drivers made it onto the track for the second-to-last practice. On Tuesday, the 33 race starters went to 19 different cities to gin up interest in the race. After returning to Indianapolis, the 33 starters were sent to different middle schools in the area to talk about health and wellness. On Thursday, each of the starters will participate in the annual media day interviews before Friday's return to the track for the final practice runs.