Plans have been announced for significant upgrade work at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the highest-capacity sports venue in the world.
In January, Penske Corporation completed its acquisition of the IMS and the IndyCar series, which has now announced that the purse for the showpiece Indianapolis 500 will increase to $15m (£11.5m/€13.8m) for this year’s event.
Upgrades to the fan experience at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which has permanent seating for over 250,000 fans, have also been announced. The upgrades will start being rolled out at this year’s GMR Grand Prix.
Central to the plans will be the addition of more than 30 large-screen video boards, including 24 along the paddock seating. The new paddock screens are set to deliver race action and information to an additional 25,000 fans.
All seven large in-field big-screen monitors at the venue will receive a running order addition, while the IMS Media Wall will also be introduced. The wall will comprise a video board measuring 100 feet wide by 20 feet tall and will be fitted at the base of the Pagoda, facing the Pagoda Plaza as part of plans to transform the gathering area, which will also feature data-driven insights to fans.
Verizon will also use its 5G Ultra Wideband network to transform the technological capacities of the speedway. IndyCar said the IMS will be the first motorsport facility with commercial 5G service that will enhance both the consumer experience and track operations.
Elsewhere, more than 125 restrooms will be renovated at the venue, while two new traffic lanes will seek to ease congestion for guests on race days. Other improvements will include night light signage, fresh paint and signage on concession stands, new picnic tables and new pavement at the Parcel B lot near the IMS main gate .
Roger Penske said: “This is the Racing Capital of the World. It is on par with some of the most historic sporting institutions in this nation and across the globe, from Churchill Downs to Augusta National.
“Today, we’re announcing a meaningful investment in our fan experience that will produce rapid results. It’s part of a long-term plan to ensure the legendary status of the Speedway continues to grow and evolve for generations to come.”