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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.

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