A surprise at Indy

I made my first visit to the Indy 500 last weekend. I’ve been a fan forever and am glad to have finally seen it in person, but it will take a while to go back. Next year, I will be at a party in the AC.

Daytona has a huge lead over Indy in one important aspect: fan traffic. I guess I am spoiled by Daytona with their park and rides, and close-by parking lots serviced by efficient and free tram service.

Who knows why, but the Indy police close off several major streets in the vicinity of the track. Closed off! No busses, no trams, just people walking. Why aren’t those streets used for motorized transport? It was 95+ degrees at Indy this year, and I know we walked more than 2 miles each way.

I don’t care if the city has been managing the event for 100 years. It looks like they have learned nothing, and have mis-managed it the whole time.

The speedway was no better. We had a one mile walk from the entrance gate to our seats. Yes, I used the wrong gate, but as we trudged along with other fans, we watched a steady stream of 10 passenger golf carts whizz by us. They were all empty, and could have been used to get paying fans over the horizon and to their seats.

Yes, I love the race, but was really shocked at how poorly this important part of the event was conducted. I will remember this before I ever criticize Daytona; they do fan access much better.

I took that picture of Danica; she had just stopped waving at me.

You may be thinking, “the roads are closed off for pedestrian traffic”. I don’t think so. Some of these roads were big, they were far from the track, and didn’t have much foot traffic.

It wouldn’t surprise me if all the road closures had more to do with security,as in homeland security than anything else and things like that can’t help but make it all but impossible for anybody up in years to attend.Even at Daytona when I was there the amount of walking involved makes it all but impossible for elderly or disabled people to attend.But in life as in anything else it’s a young person’s game not really geared towards the older people.The midwest has been going through quite the heatwave from what I’ve heard and unfortunately for you it wasn’t the coolest of years to attend.But still it sounds like you had a good time.


Danica’s spin and ka whammy makes much more sense now.

Boneman’s freshly-worked-out presence clearly made her lose her concentration.

Where did you park vs. where your (proper) gate was? The parking basically surrounds the outer perimeter of the track and really can’t get much closer, but the sheer size makes it a far hop if you’re at the outer parts of it. If you can drive into the parking lots I’m not sure how much closer any streets being open could possibly get ya. I’m surprised there aren’t tram options. I think they close streets for security, but also because straight across the street is a residential neighborhood that would be a mess otherwise.
Next year I’m doing the snake pit. I read an article the other day comparing it to hell, and it had a picture of a guy drinking beer from a lawn flamingo. Sounds like my kind of party.

Luke, I plead ignorance of how to hack the system and get close. All I know is that so many roads were closed, and that the traffic was so dense, that I had very few options except to follow where the road, the traffic and the police directed.

I did bail a few times and cut through neighborhoods; I know that saved a little time, but my point remains: Indy is far, far behind Daytona, and needs to study other venues to see how to step up their game.

Of course Indy still packed in 300,000+ on a 95 degree day…

You were lucky there were so many empty seats… It could have been worse!

It shows how long it’s been since I’ve been to Daytona…last time I went the parking situation made me say I’d never go back again - and i haven’t. We sat on the backstretch for a Busch race and the stands were fairly empty. When it came time to leave they forced everyone to wait in line for school busses to get over to the lot that was maybe a mile away. We waited in line for over 2 hours for a 5 minute bus ride. They wouldn’t allow anyone to walk, everyone had to use the bus because at that time the street there had no sidewalk.