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Tickets go on sale today for 101st Indy 500, 2017 month of May

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Yes, there will be a 101st Indianapolis 500 after this year’s banner 100th running of the Memorial Day open-wheel classic.

And tickets for that race, as well as the rest of the 2017 Month of May, go on sale today.

Here’s the release from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the deets:

Tickets for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are on sale today, along with the entire 2017 Month of May schedule. Fans who have not already pre-ordered tickets can visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket office or to purchase their seats for an action-packed schedule that also includes the IndyCar Grand Prix, Indy 500 practice and qualification days, concerts and so much more.

“Many fans jumped at the chance to renew their tickets after this year’s historic race, with reserved seat purchases already trending notably higher than several previous years,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles. “The 101st Running is going to be a spectacle worthy of the world’s largest single-day sporting event and we can’t wait to see an enthusiastic crowd celebrate more history and thrills at IMS. Our renewal demand was high, so if you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, now is the right time to get the view you want.”

IMS has long been a family-friendly facility, offering free General Admission to all racing events for children 12 and under when accompanied by a paid adult. Starting this year, IMS will extend this offer to kids up to 15 years old, and will also introduce new grandstand family packages for several 2017 events.

The Month of May’s first event, the IndyCar Grand Prix, is a great way to test-drive these exciting new opportunities while watching reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud defend his 2016 victory on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course.

“The IndyCar Grand Prix is a really fantastic family event and a great way to introduce your kids to racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Boles said. “It offers an up-close-and-personal view of the drivers and one of my favorite Month of May moments: the chance to walk on the most famous racetrack in the world after the race.”

From there, the riveting countdown to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” moves forward with the first Indy 500 practice taking place on Monday, May 15. Indy 500 qualifications begin on Saturday, May 20, with Pole Day on Sunday, May 21. Miller Lite Carb Day and Legends Day presented by Firestone will again provide thrills for both music and racing fans on Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.

The epic 101st edition of the world’s most iconic race will take place on Sunday, May 28. Reigning champion Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport will return to defend his crown against both newcomers and previous winners for another hard-earned spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy.

“There’s no place like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend,” said Rossi. “I can’t wait to come back this May and race in the 101st Running of the Indy 500. Everyone in our series dreams about winning this race and I know we’ll put on a great show for our fans.”

To see the IndyCar Grand Prix schedule, click here and to see the Indy 500 schedule, click here. To purchase 2017 Indy 500 tickets and more, click here.

‘Game-changing’ multi-year agreement will take INDYCAR, NBC Sports ‘to the next level’


NEW YORK – As the fourth Nor’easter in three weeks bore down on the Big Apple, it was tough to spot people that were clearly in a good mood.

But Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN, was clearly in a good mood.

On Wednesday morning at 10 am ET, we all found out why: NBC will become the exclusive home of the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500, starting in 2019.

The new three-year deal not only makes “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” part of the network’s “Championship Season” – its collection of high-profile championship events from May to July – but also reaffirms NBC’s status as the home of motorsports television in the United States.

That status is something Miller doesn’t take for granted.

“It’s important people know that storytelling is in our DNA, and motorsports lends itself very well to storytelling,” Miller said as he, INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles and driver James Hinchcliffe made a snowy trek to the New York Stock Exchange to promote the deal on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

“We’ve had great success with the second half of the entire NASCAR season, and then we’ve had half of the IndyCar package [since 2009] … But we never had the real meat of the series and that didn’t set anybody up for success.

“Having the entire package of IndyCar now – all 17 races, qualifying, practice, you name it – really sets IndyCar on a strong path and solidifies NBC’s position as the home of motorsports. I think it becomes a property much like the Premier League, the NHL, and even the Olympics and the Triple Crown. We have 100 percent of the media opportunity and we can put all those great assets behind it.”

With the storm no doubt keeping some traders home, the floor of the NYSE was relatively subdued. But that made it no less important to be at the heart of Wall Street. Miles and his team are pursuing a new title sponsor for the IndyCar Series to replace Verizon, which will fully focus its efforts in the series with the powerhouse Team Penske going forward in 2019.

The new deal – which includes 8 races per year on the NBC network (with the remaining races going to NBCSN), live streaming of all races, and a direct-to-consumer package with NBC Sports Gold – gave Miles plenty to push for any potential backers. As for Hinchcliffe, he held his own nicely in an interview that also explored IndyCar’s global ambitions, the impact of technology on the sport, and of course, his spin around the ballroom on “Dancing with the Stars.”

On the ride back to 30 Rock, Miles was confident that NBC can play a big role in attracting a sponsor that can help the series keep growing.

“With respect to our work in finding the best title sponsor, it’s really important – and this has not been talked about much – but we expect to work with hand in glove with NBC’s sales,” he explained. “We have the opportunity to create packages which are both broadcast sponsorship and series sponsorship, I think, in a way that doesn’t come along very often.

“Usually, the media deal and the sponsorship deal doesn’t align like this, so we’re really excited about the offering we’ll have and the approach to the market we can take.”

Should the partnership with NBC bear fruit on that front and others, it will only add to the upswing that the IndyCar Series has had in recent years.

Hinchcliffe has been a witness to that. He entered the series in 2011, when it was trying to find its footing after the sport’s reunification three years earlier. After 13 years of CART vs. the Indy Racing League, getting everything back under one roof was not a smooth process.

But fast-forward seven years, and things have changed for the better. TV ratings and digital viewers have gone up. Race scheduling has become more stable and enhanced with the return of traditional open-wheel markets. And this year’s debut of the universal aero kit aims to pump up the action on the track, while also giving the cars a cleaner, meaner look.

Now, with NBC all in, Hinchcliffe is bullish on his sport’s future.

“This is a game-changing thing for us,” he declared. “If you look at the last four or five years, we’ve seen a steady growth in pretty much every measureable metric that there is – in a time where, globally, motorsports is in a bit of a downturn.

“The fact that IndyCar was able to rally against a global dip in motorsports interest, attendance, sponsorship – it speaks volumes to what we have been doing and this is just gonna take us to that next level.”