Could IMS Blackout Lift Continue?
A marketing expert at IU’s Kelley School of Business says the Indianapolis Motor Speedway dropping the media blackout on the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is an "unbelievably big deal." Kim Donahue says it may open the door to extend the decision next year, regardless of ticket sales, as a way of appealing to local fans and reaching new demographics.
The move means, for the first time in more than 60 years, the Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast on live television in the Indianapolis market. IMS President Doug Boles and Hulman and Co. Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles made the announcement Wednesday morning. They say the decision came because reserve and general admission has sold out for Sunday’s race.
Donahue believes, even if the race is consistently broadcast live on television in central Indiana, the Speedway can keep attendance numbers strong by capitalizing on the "unique aspects" of seeing the race live.
Governor Mike Pence is praising the move in a statement, saying, "This historic decision and the sellout on 16th Street is a testament to the leadership of the Hulman-George family, the team at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the support the people of Indiana provided over the last several years to enable the improvements that will benefit race fans, our capital city, and our state for generations to come."
Donahue says the reason for lifting the blackout is as important as the decision itself.