Changes are already underway at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and speedway president held a town hall-style meeting and a Q&A session with racing fans and media in Fort Wayne to talk about those changes.
Kelley Chevrolet dealership hosted the meeting and president Tom Kelley spoke to the importance of the speedway to Hoosiers.
“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is iconic, it’s a phenomenal asset to those of us that live in the Midwest,” Kelley said to the media.
The changes that are being made to IMS, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are in preparation for the 100th Indianapolis 500. The plan is called Project 100.
According the imsproject100.com, there are a multitude of areas at the speedway that are being improved “including seating, technology, gates and entryways, concession and restroom upgrades and new hospitality options.”
Over 50 race fans showed up to hear Boles talk about the improvements to racetrack and how the track looks currently.
“It’s a completely different place right now, we have taken the entire roof structure off the front stretch (grandstands),” Boles said to the media, “They have actually started putting steel up on the north end.”
Boles said in the spring, they plan on working on the gate one part of the project. Gate one is the “front door” to the speedway according to imsproject100.com.
Plenty of fans that showed up to the meeting expressed their concern for the problem of long lines at gate one in the past few years.
“Part of it, is us working with law enforcement to make sure people know other routes and the real hard part of it is 300,000 people trying to get in the facility,” Boles said.
Boles also alluded to the recent attacks of terrorism in this country and around the world that has led them to be more cautious with security because of the amounts of people that show up on race day.
There are no events scheduled at the speedway until the May 12, 2016 so fans should not be affected by any of the ongoing construction. The construction is now in its third phase according to imsproject100.com.
The first phase of Project 100 began in 2014 and each phase has been done in between each “500” race.
Phase three of the project includes more seating is being added to the already 300,000 plus seats. Boles said they are adding three more rows of seats to the grandstand and having Wi-Fi put in.
Rick Fletcher who has been going to the “500” for 30 years was against the changes the speedway has made in the past but has changed his tone in recent years.
“The first year I was in those fan club suites I thought you know what, this is pretty cool,” Fletcher said.
The 100th running of the Indianapolis is set for Memorial Day weekend, May 29, 2016.