The Indy 500 is a sporting event that breaks all the rules.
In an age where venues are getting increasingly smaller, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is expanding its capacity and focusing on hosting the largest crowd possible. The speedway annually hosts more than 300,000 individuals for the world’s largest single spectator sporting event. Last year’s attendance was the biggest (325,000) since the 100th running in 2016, and the stage is set for this year’s gathering to surpass that.
Annually, the Indy 500 pulls in more than $300 million for the local economy, and paid out more than $3 million to the winning driver last year.
But its importance to INDYCAR and the world’s sporting stage is so much more than numbers.
The Indy 500 reels in the fans, making it the biggest fan activation platform for INDYCAR sponsors. As the event grows year after year, it not only keeps up with the times, its historical significance is a marvel, a century-old spectacle with a history of innovation that has fueled progress across the automotive industry. The rear-view mirror was even invented at the very first Indy 500 in 1911!
In keeping with that history, this year’s Indy 500 will be a showcase for industry-leading sustainability efforts. “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will for the first time be contested with 100% renewable race fuel, courtesy of Shell, and will feature the debut of a tire featuring synthetic rubber composed of specially made recyclable materials, courtesy of Firestone.
All of this progress, innovation and excitement will be on display this weekend. Sunday’s Indy 500 on NBC (11 a.m. ET) will be a can’t-miss showcase for an event that’s steeped in history but always racing forward.