Indianapolis 500

Expert advice on how to stay safe at the Indy 500

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — With hundreds of thousands of people headed to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend, the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety wants to make sure you and your wallet are safe.

The department is working with IMS and the Speedway Police Department to handle the event. But also they’re hoping those in attendance keep safety on the top of their minds, too.

It might not be the “golden ticket,” but a pass to get into the Indianapolis 500 has a shine all its own. The ticket paper is glossy, multicolored, and raised to give it a 3-D effect in certain areas.

Because of that, Mike Peduto, co-owner of Circle City Tickets, said it’s unlikely you’ll come across a fake Indy 500 ticket.

Instead, he says to be on the lookout for those standing on street corners hoping to sell you a stolen one. The ticket might get you past the gate, but good luck keeping your seat.

“If somebody’s seats were stolen they can prove they were in the original purchaser,” he said. “The track will issue a replacement and then usually have somebody, a security person, go to the seat with them to make sure nobody else shows up is what our experience has been.”

It’s why he suggests buying from a licensed vendor or straight from the ticket office at IMS.

“My dad starting bringing me here when I was little and he always did it the same way, always got the tickets through the box office,” said fan Tom Fresher.

And now he’s passing that advice down to his son who knows not to stray too far away on race day. Hundreds of thousands of people will be around and the crowds can be overwhelming. It’s part of the reason officials suggest parents pick a meeting spot, like the Pagoda, if their child gets lost.

“My son’s been with me for many years coming over here so he knows to stay close and I just always kind of hold extra tight to his hand or his arm until we get up to the seats,” said Fresher.

Another tip for parents is to keep an updated picture of your children or a family member on your cell phone. That way you can quickly share it with police or security of someone gets lost.

The following is additional advice from the department of public safety:Parking Scams:

  • Do not hesitate to ask questions.
  • Ask for a receipt or tag for your dashboard.
  • Ask who owns the lot and if there are time limits.
  • Does the person look like they are a parking attendant?

Car Thefts:

  • If you are parking a car, empty it of any valuables you don’t actually need.
  • Before leaving your vehicle, make sure your car doors are locked.
  • Do not leave valuables in plain sight.  Put them in the trunk.


  • Plan to have sober drivers at your party who can escort folks home.
  • Be prepared for guests to spend the night if an alternative way home is not available.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast.
  • Pace yourself-eat enough food and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Designate before you celebrate.

Pick pockets:

  • Put your valuables in your front pocket.
  • Women make sure your purse is zipped; hold it close to your body and towards the front.
  • To stay safe in crowds leave the extra credit cards at home and only carry what you need in a concealed place.