It has been a very busty start to March for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with the opening race of the season, the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, presented by RP Funding which took place last weekend with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson taking the victory. On Wednesday, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway began dispatching tickets to the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500, presented by Gainbridge on May 28.

Speedway President J Douglas Boles was joined by Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. Speaking about the process, O’Ward, driver of the No.5 Arrow McLaren IndyCar, said:

“I had no idea the process that it was for the physical tickets to get mailed. “So, for me, it just screams and yells tradition, and the Indy 500 is all about tradition. I’m really happy that I got to do this, and I got to see what it’s all about. It’s not just a simple email. There’s a lot of meaning to that ticket. People collect them. People have them at home. They keep them at home, and I think that’s very special.”

It takes approximately nine weeks to package all pre-ordered tickets for mailing, from orders the day after the previous year’s race up to current orders. Hard work from employees in the Ticket Office and other Penske Entertainment Corp. departments ensures the ticketing process runs smoothly and on schedule.

A few facts and figures about this year’s initial ticket mailing:

  • Number of tickets sent: More than 150,000 Race Day tickets (includes Race Day tickets, parking, concert tickets, etc.)
  • Number of blue envelopes sent: More than 25,000
  • Number of U.S. Postal Service trays to accommodate envelopes: More than 580
  • Weight of all ticket envelopes and trays in first mailing: More than 5,000 pounds
  • Hours needed to fill envelopes by hand: More than 880 person-hours
  • Number of working days to package envelopes: 43
  • Number of Penske Entertainment employees who fill envelopes: 43
  • Number of states distributed: 50
  • Number of countries distributed: 35 (including the United States)
  • Federal postal inspectors came to IMS with a large truck for the first mailing. O’Ward and Rosenqvist joined several IMS employees in helping load the trucks.

Felix Rosenqvist, the driver of the No.7 Arrow McLaren, commented saying:

Oh, it’s the most physical labor I’ve done in a while, “It’s pretty awesome. It’s a lot of tickets. When you go into that room, you’re like, ‘Wow.’ It gives you perspective on what a big event the Indy 500 is.

“It’s pretty cool to put a little personal touch to some of the envelopes and just being here with everyone from IMS just helping out. Sometimes you take for granted everything behind the scenes, but just a thing like mailing out the tickets is such a huge project, and I’m happy to be part of it. It’s cool; 81 days out, we’re getting closer.”

To purchase your tickets for The Greatest Spectacle In Racing, click here.

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