Month of May

Camping spaces nearly sold-out despite COVID-19 limits for Indianapolis 500

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Indianapolis Motor Speedway isn’t offering glamping for this year’s Indianapolis 500, but the track is providing camping in its parking lots.

Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president, said Friday that most of its camping is already sold-out.

“One of the things that makes the Indianapolis 500 so special are the traditions that folks have when they come and attend, and one of those traditions is camping,” Boles said Friday.

The Indianapolis 500 and practices leading up to the race have a 40% capacity limit to comply with Marion County public-health authorities during the coronavirus pandemic. On race day, up to 135,000 fans could attend.

“So camping is really part of how people experience the Indianapolis 500, so we felt like it was really important to continue to do that,” Boles said. “We have camping on the other side of Georgetown Road behind the front stretch. We have camping on the south side of 16th Street. We also have some camping out of Lot 1C,” also known as the “Coke Lot.”

One of the campers, Patsy Receveur, said Friday that coming to the Indy 500 is a special tradition for her and her husband. They’ve been coming together here for 37 years. They’ve met many friends while camping. “You stay in touch with them by phone or text all over the year and you see them once a year for a month,” she said.

Todd Walter, from Fort Wayne, shared why he enjoys camping near the track. “One, you get everyone to get together. The 500 is obviously a big part of Indiana and what Indiana is about and, besides this lot that we’re in and the lots all over the place, there are people from all over, so you meet lots of different people.”

Russell Eiler, from Noblesville, said about himself and fellow campers: “We’ve put together some unique experiences, whether it’s pizza after the race or we have a breakfast last Saturday morning before the Grand Prix.”