SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Around 300,000 people are expected to pack into Speedway this weekend in anticipation of the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500.
The crowd this year could be one of the biggest in 25 years, according to Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials.
“It will feel like an Indianapolis 500 is supposed to feel like,” IMS President Doug Boles said. “It’s going to be that amazing energy that we all expect and love to see.”
Boles said that with just three days before the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, only 5,000 reserved seats are left at IMS.
“I can tell you that this year’s crowd is going to be the best crowd that we’ve had in the last 25 years, with the exception of 2016,” said Boles.
Some fans have noticed the increase in attendance too.
“It is amazing how well it has come back,” said camper David Meyer.
The 500 has been a family affair for Meyer and Jacob Moore since 1968.
“Nothing is better than the granddaddy of the Indy 500,” Moore said. “We are here to represent that and put on our city and to put on our family.”
Others said that their friends dragged them to their first 500 and that now they can’t stop coming back.
“Because of all the fans and how big it is and being the greatest spectacle in racing,” said camper John Sullivan. “That is why I keep coming back.”
Sullivan made a 17-hour road trip with his buddies to come to his 33rd running of the race.
“The people in of itself, we’ve got people from New Jersey,” Sullivan said. “We’ve got people from Michigan, Canada, all these other places that we hang out with, so it is just a lot of fun.”
The town of Speedway has been preparing for months for the more than 300,000 fans.
“10 years ago, when you were at this lot, you’d see maybe a third of the campers,” Meyer said. “Today, this lot is probably 80 percent full.”
Boles said that IMS is warning fans to arrive early.
“We are going to be significantly more dense in terms of population than we were last year,” said Boles.