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Security tightens for Indy 500 after Boston bombings

May 24, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

IMS Pagoda Getty Images

Changes to parking policies and traffic routes, as well as more police officers and stricter enforcement of cooler sizes, await fans coming to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for the 97th Indianapolis 500. With the ‘500’ serving as one of the first major sporting events since the Boston Marathon bombings last month, IMS has responded to the attacks with a series of measures to ensure fan safety for its biggest event.

Among them will be the opening, inspection and measurement of all coolers brought into the track according to IMS spokesman Doug Boles’ comments to the Associated Press. While limits had always officially been in place, fans were still often able to bring in over-sized ones through the gates. Not anymore.

Infield parking in Turn 3 will also be different as spectators will now have to pay $25 to park there and also have security credentials as well. In addition, Boles told the AP that police will restrict access to a major route into the Speedway and keep fans parked overnight in lots across from the main gate from going into a tunnel that leads inside the track when the track opens at dawn on Sunday morning.

Security at sporting events will be very important on Sunday throughout Indianapolis; in addition to the “500” that afternoon at the Speedway, downtown Indianapolis will also be teeming with people later that night for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the host Indiana Pacers and visiting Miami Heat.

  1. burm61 - May 24, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Well that is good to hear. I went to the all star race last weekend and the one thought my brother and I had was “I wonder if security will be any different? ” To our surprise, it was nothing. Nothing but a bag/cooler check by a young kid that wouldn’t know a bomb unless it looked like one on Looney Toons. I had no bag and just walked right through. It’s very concerning how easy it is to get into a NASCAR event if you had bad intentions and, as a native of Daytona, makes me very nervous going into 4th of July weekend or the 500 for the next few years to come.

  2. ttnvrl8 - May 25, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    On the flip side, I hate that we all have to give up our right to privacy by having to have our stuff looked at in the first place. I know, I’m being unrealistic, but prior to 9/11 try to remember what a woman would have said to a guy who demanded to look into her purse. The guy’d be lucky to leave fully intact.

    All of this BS is a nod to these few pukes who, as terrorists, have won. We’ve had to change our lifestyle to accommodate these very few. Ben Franklin said “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.”

    Especially, in my opinion, race fans as a whole are the most docile of large sports-type crowds. They tend to reflect the stars of the sport who also, as a whole, tend to be far less involved with abhorrent lifestyles and petty criminality than those in the big stick and ball sports.

    So, I don’t really follow NASCAR, but if they didn’t upgrade their security for the Boston tragedy, way to go! F U terrorists! Again, I know, possibly really stupid, but this is how the Europeans in general respond to terror – they continue on with their lives as normal.

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