INDIANAPOLIS – A few days ago, there was a report that next month’s Indianapolis 500 should see crowds exceed where they were for the 2015 race. That was always the benchmark for the 101st Running, because Doug Boles and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway knew that there’d big a huge uptick in fans for the 100th Running in 2016. With that being said, their main goal was to keep as many of those fans coming back for 2017 and knew there’d be a bit of a dropoff.
It was revealed today that not just Fernando Alonso will race in this year’s Indy 500, but McLaren is back too. That has sent shockwaves through the motorsports world, as it’s huge that Alonso is skipping Monaco to race at Indy. That would be like Scott Dixon skipping the Indy 500 to race in Monaco.
With that being said, there’s still a following of F1 here in the United States, and with Monaco being completed before the start of the ‘500, we’re sure to see an increase of even more ticket sales because of this move alone. If IMS was expecting 300,000+ without Alonso, what about now with Alonso?
Then there’s the TV ratings. It’s going to be a sure bet most of Europe will be tuning in to see how Alonso fares in the ‘500. It’s not just big nationally this year, but bigger internationally again as well.
This is going to certainly make the entire Month of May huge in Indy, as Alonso will arrive on May 15 and be here the rest of the month.
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report covering Racing. He’s covered both IndyCar and NASCAR action since 2009 and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by both the IndyCar Series and all three divisions of NASCAR racing.
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