The Indiana Motorsports Commission has approved preliminary plans by Hulman & Company to invest state funds for upgrades to Indianapolis Motor Speedway aimed at improving the “quality of motorsport events and the fan experience at the facility,” according to a press release from IMS.
Those improvements include the addition of an apron in all four turns of the facility’s oval track and refurbishing the catchfence. Non-NASCAR-related changes for which funding has been improved include the repaving and reconfiguration of the IMS road course, which has already been completed.
“Improving the quality of racing will grow ticket sales,” Hulman & Company President and Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Belskus said. “For example, adding an apron to the track would improve the passing opportunities during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard.”
More fan-related changes and additions include seating improvements, additional elevators, suite renovations, new video screens, a new scoring pylon, updated restrooms, expanding concession stands, wi-fi access throughout the facility and traffic flow and parking improvements.
Additional improvement plans will be announced in Spring 2014.
“We’ll complete our master plan next spring, but the first upgrades, which complement our new Month of May, are already underway,” Hulman & Company President and Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Belskus said.
Those plans will not include lights to allow for night racing. The estimated cost of lighting the track is $20 million. In comparison, the cost of the apron addition is expected to cost less than $1 million.
A bond issue already signed into law will generate $90 to fund the IMS improvements. The bonds will be repaid through credits from a Motorsports Investment Tax District, an admissions tax at the track, and $2 million yearly from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.