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Join us at the Indy 500

Celebrated as one of the most prestigious and thrilling motorsports races in the world, the Indy 500 is a must-see live event. People wait all year to watch their favorite Indy Car driver race at speeds topping 180 mph, swerving and outmaneuvering other cars in an electrifying race to the finish. The race is held every year during Memorial Day Weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Largest Sporting Venue in the World

Believe it or not, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest spectator sporting facility.

  • The race is called the Indy 500 because the 2.5-mile oval circuit is lapped 200 times, which is equal to 500 miles.
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Indy 500 is held each year, is truly an immense structure. In fact, the 253-acre IMS oval can fit Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Coliseum and Vatican City inside it.
  • In late 1909, 3.2 million paving bricks were laid to upgrade the racing surface of the Speedway, which is how the Indy 500 track got its nickname as “The Brickyard.” Now, only one yard (3 feet) of bricks are visible at the start/finish line.
  • Each year, more than 15,000 gallons of beer are consumed on race day.
  • The first event ever held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was not the Indy 500, it was hot air balloon race in 1909. The Indy 500 didn’t begin until 1911.
  • More than 4,900 tires are used during the Indy 500 each year, including the qualifying races. You can still spot some of those used tires along Mass Avenue, where they’ve been recycled into artwork.
  • Ray Harroun won the very first Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 1911. Harroun averaged speeds of 74.602 mph and earned $50,000 for winning the inaugural race. Today, Indy 500 winners average 227 mph and get $3 million along with a lifetime of bragging rights.

Downtown Hotel Near Indy 500 Race

As a favorite pick among hotels near the Indy 500, Indianapolis Marriott Downtown is the perfect lodging choice for this exciting weekend. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is only 4.7 miles away (approximately 12 minutes by car), and our downtown hotel puts you near the city’s best nightlife and attractions, including the Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum, and White River State Park.

During your stay, you’ll also enjoy a wide range of hotel amenities including access to our modern fitness center, 24-hour room service, an on-site Starbucks®, and high-speed Wi-Fi. We know you’ll feel right at home in one of our stylish guest rooms and suites, each outfitted with ultra-comfortable beds, HD TVs, and complimentary in-room coffee and tea.

We also invite you to join friends and family at our own  Circle City Bar & Grille where our chefs transform local ingredients into creative and contemporary cuisine. Above all, you can count on our friendly staff to make your race weekend unforgettable with friendly service and personalized suggestions for downtown’s best hot spots and can’t-miss attractions.

Race Day Tips for the Indy 500
If you’ve never been to the Indy 500, we’ve compiled a few easy tips to help you make the most of your race day experience.

  • Don’t forget your ear plugs and sunscreen! We also suggest arriving early to allow enough time for security to inspect any coolers, bags, or other items you’re bringing along.
  • Bring your camera, but leave the self-stick at home. To avoid any confusion and delays during inspection, review the IMS rules and make sure you don’t bring any prohibited items.
  • Tickets start at $40 and sell out quickly – so buying tickets ahead of time is a must. Kids 15 and under enter free with an adult General Admission ticketholder.

A Weekend You’ll Never Forget

  • In addition to the race, you’ll find a variety of fun activities and celebrations throughout the race weekend. One of the most popular events is the IPL 500 Festival Parade, which takes place the night before the race and draws over 300,000 visitors. Watch spectacular floats, costumed characters, marching bands, and helium balloons fill the streets of downtown. The weekend festivities continue with concerts from big-name bands, tailgating, car practice-runs, and parties throughout the Indianapolis.
  • Check out the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum (five miles from downtown Indy), to learn more about the rich history of the race, the Speedway grounds, and the brave drivers who have made the Indy 500 one of the most famous races in the world. Museum Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 -15. Children under 5 are free.