INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - IMS officials apologized, after many fans were met with long lines at pedestrian gates heading into the track Sunday.
Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway COO, said officials met Sunday night and for three hours Monday morning, to discuss how to alleviate those long lines.
“It’s not an acceptable situation for us. We apologize for what happened to our fans, and we are going to do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future,” said Boles.
Boles says he believes the congestion was caused by a number of factors: different street parking rules,
people arriving later, but mainly, he said, “Really the root of the problem is just the process of having people put coolers down, making sure they were measured properly.”
Post-Boston bombing precautions: staff made sure coolers were exactly the correct size, and inspected them carefully.
“It’s one of those things, where we’re in this balancing act, where we want to make sure everybody’s safe, but we want it to be as convenient as possible for them to get here,” explained Boles.
Boles told 24-Hour News 8 officials were monitoring the gates all morning long, and when they realized those long lines were forming outside, they immediately stopped stubbing tickets (where they take the ticket, and tear part off).
“That saved a little time per person; we think that helped gate flow a little bit,” added Boles. “We’re looking at all kinds of options for next year. Do we open more gates, get additional staff? We had more staff but obviously that didn’t seem to work out right, especially as we got closer to the end of the day.”
Boles says they may even bring in a third party to take a look at their gate flow, and implement some new procedures at upcoming events at the speedway.
“We’ll try and see… maybe have express gates, or a non-cooler gate,” he explained. “Different ways to measure coolers… try to implement some of those at those next events.”
The majority said they appreciated it, and understood the waits that come with that.
Boles describes it as a balancing act between safety and convenience.
“Certainly we can’t have waits like fans had on Sunday,” he added.
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