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IMS reduces capacity, works on improving fan experience

May 18, 2013, 1:15 PM EDT

IMS Pagoda Getty Images

Taking notice of newer stadiums’ bigger amenities, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is targeting ways to improve the at-track experience for fans coming to this month’s Indianapolis 500 and its other events as well.

Part of that effort has included the removal of almost 10 percent of the Brickyard’s seating capacity, most of that number coming from the Turn 3 grandstand and the front straightaway according to The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin. Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles is also looking at adding cushioned seats in some locations and creating a number of “party decks” overlooking the track that can stage group entertainment.

It would appear that IMS has been taking notes following the 2008 debut of Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and the host of Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. Among other things, the stadium features 137 luxury suites, a pair of multi-level club lounges, and 14 escalators to help fans get around.

While completely matching that may be out of the question for the Speedway, its organization still knows that it must create an easier, more enjoyable outing for fans — especially those who have become used to the creature comforts of Lucas Oil Stadium and other recently-built stadiums around the country.

“I don’t know that we can have amenities that match Lucas Oil [Stadium], but we have to look at the whole seating mix and how do we optimize it,” Miles said to The Star.

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