May 27, 2022

Downtown Indianapolis ready to welcome back race fans

Helio Castroneves celebrates his record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 victory. Fans were allowed to attend the 2021 race, but capacity was limited due to the pandemic. - Doug Jaggers/WFYI

Helio Castroneves celebrates his record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 victory. Fans were allowed to attend the 2021 race, but capacity was limited due to the pandemic.

Doug Jaggers/WFYI

The Indianapolis 500 is back at full capacity this year and the excitement extends to downtown.

The pandemic has dampened many traditional 500 activities for the past two years. This weekend ahead of the race, the 500 Festival Parade will again hit the streets of Indianapolis.

Downtown Indy Interim President Bob Shultz said people should come with patience and a plan.

“Because some folks haven’t come back to Downtown from the suburbs for a while and they may be unfamiliar with the road closures and some of the construction that’s going on,” Shultz said.

IMPD will increase patrols in the downtown area.  More than a quarter million people will fill the track on race day and many of them stay downtown.

“When we think about three 300,000 people, that's a hundred thousand to 200,000 folks coming into our downtown to enjoy our restaurants, the parade, stay at our hotels,” Schultz said.

Indianapolis has successfully hosted several large sporting events since the pandemic began, including the 2021 NCAA men’s Final Four and the College Football National Championship in January.

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