Planning a vacation but don't want to go too far from home? Are you a racing fan? Are you free this weekend? If you are, Indianapolis may be the perfect place to relax and enjoy the largest sporting event in the world. Whether you want a front row seat or an autograph from your favorite driver, the history of the race and arena makes Indiana's capitol city well worth a visit.
At 12 pm on Sunday, May 29th, 33 of the best racecar drivers in the world will begin the first of 200 laps of the 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,' the Indy 500. Started in 1911, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
If you don't know already, the Indianapolis 500 is a big deal. It's huge! It makes the Super Bowl look like a pee-wee game. It is the world's largest single-day spectator sporting event; probably because it combines three things men love - fast cars, beer, and winning.
If you're in town Saturday, May 28th, there is a full day of events to get you excited for the race. Gates open at 8am and visitors have a chance to attend Q&A sessions with rookie of the year candidates, past winner's autograph sessions, photo ops, memorabilia shows and book signings.
On race day, an estimated 500,000 visitors will cram into the stadium and infield to watch the 33 cars race 500 miles at an average of 170 miles per hour. If the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself were a city, on race day its population would rank as the 45th largest city in the U.S. It is the largest and highest-capacity sporting facility in the world.
292 million households in 213 countries worldwide watched the race in 2009, almost tripling that of the Super Bowl, which garnered 111 million viewers in 2011.
Unlike other large sporting events, tickets are modestly priced, making it easy to include family and friends. General admission tickets start at $40.00, but can climb to over $1,400.00 for a suite. The race is estimated to bring in over 431 million dollars, creating a huge economic impact for the sport and the state.
Along with bragging rights, the winner will receive a celebratory milk bath, a million dollar cash prize and his name, average speed, and date of victory is added to the Borg-Warner Trophy. The champion driver and its winning car owner receive a Baby Borg, an 18 inch replica, to take home.
The Indy 500 is not to be missed. Even if you don't purchase a ticket, there will be plenty of tailgaters and parking lot partiers to revel and watch the race with on the jumbotron. The Indy 500 can be a great place to spend Memorial Day weekend with the ones you love- your family, your friends and your race cars.
To purchase tickets and for a complete schedule of events visit: http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/indy500/