INDIANAPOLIS – In addition to a series of competitive enhancements for the 104th Indianapolis 500, Roger Penske and his staff also announced a variety of facility improvements at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Among them are the use of more than 30 additional large-screen video boards, including 24 along the Paddock seating. Also included is the addition of the IMSA Media Wall, a video board measuring 100 feet wide by 20 feet tall that will be installed at the base of the Pagoda facing the Pagoda Plaza as a cornerstone of a plan to transform the popular gathering area for fans. It will also provide data-driven race insights to fans from NTT.
“Underneath those boards, we will have these eight-foot deep, long boards that will be solely dedicated to getting the running order delivered to our fans, so they know where the drivers are, see information,” said IMS President Doug Boles. “It’s also going to be a good board for us to basically do what the pylon does for the rest of the facility. When it goes green, they’ll go green. When it goes yellow, they’ll go yellow.
“We also will be looking at 24 additional boards that will sit to your guys’ right underneath the paddock penthouse and above the paddock. Those sold-out seats in those areas really don’t have good access to the video boards. For the first time when they come to the facility, they will be able to watch replays and activities on the video boards at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
Other changes include an update to Georgetown Road, with pedestrian traffic getting two additional lanes to make ingress and egress easier for more than half of the venue’s race day customers.
New pavement will be added to the Parcel B lot near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Main Gate to improve the parking experience and create a cleaner look for the front door of the facility. Approximately 3 miles of fencing will be added to the entire grounds.
Even the restrooms at the historic facility are getting a much needed facelift.
“If you go in our restrooms coming in May, there will be new sinks where they were needed, all brand-new lighting, LED lighting, the paint inside the restrooms throughout the facility will be a consistent paint,” Boles said. “For those fans that come this evening to the party in the pavilion, the restrooms in the pavilion are painted in the same scheme so folks have a chance to see that.
“You can also see one some of the exterior of those will be cleaned up. It will be clear to tell whether it’s male or female restroom. As Roger said, that is not a revenue-producing investment, but it certainly does help us with the customer experience. We certainly want that to be one that people aren’t worried about.”
Just five weeks since he officially became the owner of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Penske is making serious investments into the sport.
“This is a multi-million-dollar commitment when you think about this,” Penske said. “This is a thousand acres.
“I think it’s the right thing. The racing product, obviously Doug, has been terrific here when you think about the finishes over the last few years. The commitment by the teams. I think Jay and the teams at IndyCar have done a great job.
“Without IndyCar, we don’t have the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Without the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we might not have IndyCar.”