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Fresh off the success of the Sonsio Grand Prix, IMS President Doug Boles joined Tony Katz and the Morning News to talk about the upcoming Indy 500 just 12 days away!

Tony asked Boles how the Indy 500 was trending:


The 500 continues to trend very well… Yesterday, we were a little over 16,000 tickets sold more than we sold last year 13 days out. Which means we could see that reserve seat sell out. In fact, I’m feeling more and more confident each day that we will end with a reserve seat sell out sometime probably next week, so we have to keep plugging away.

A few years back Roger Penske bought the track, and we began seeing changes. Tony asked Boles what some of the more significant changes were.


He’s invested almost $60 Million in the last 4 years really almost all of it in the customer experience… The one big place we invested this year are the video boards on the spectator mounds. That was the really big thing this past weekend for the Grand Prix. I got so many comments from the fans who buy G.A. tickets, and how great those spectator mounds video boards were.

In addition:

The two things we hear the most are “concession stand lines are too long, and traffic is too long.” Traffic is going to be hard because everybody is going and coming at the same time, it’s 330,000 people. But concession stand lines, for sure we’ve ought to work on, so we have a new “grab and go” in the plaza area, which is our main area, hoping to alleviate some of that. That’s one of our busiest concession stands, and that worked out really well over the weekend. We just continue to invest in that customer experience, and like I said he’s invested $60 Million, about $15 Million a year over the last 4 years.

Tony then asked about where Penske has invested outside of the 500. Boles talked about the money Penske has invested into the production trucks to promote the brand for those who cannot attend in person. Being that we’re in radio, Tony wasn’t too interested in the TV investment, to which Boles responded:

The most important thing our fans will tell you is that the best way to experience the Indy 500 is through the IMS radio network whose flagship is WIBC. When I call customers at night, many of them will say, “The way I fell in love with the Speedway is listening to the radio.” And almost all of those 330,000 people sitting in the venue they’re not listening to our PA and Dave Calabro, they’re listening to WIBC through the radio network.

WIBC is in full on race coverage for the Month of May. Listen to our “Heroes of the 500” on Saturdays and reports from the track coming soon!

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