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FIRST-EVER SELLOUT LEADS TO OFFICIALS LIFTING BLACKOUT
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With the first Indianapolis 500 sellout in history now in hand, Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials have lifted the live local television blackout that’s been in place since 1950.
Central Indiana has always had a delayed broadcast on the night of the race, allowing those attending the event to see what they couldn’t see live. That broadcast will continue at 7 p.m. locally, with another airing Monday at 10 a.m.
How this impacts national TV ratings remains to be seen, although officials from ESPN, which owns ABC, and IMS don't expect much of a difference.
Last year’s local showing drew a 12.7 rating, according to Nielsen Media, and that was the highest of the metered markets. Dayton, Ohio, was second at 9.9. The national average was 4.2.
IMS officials haven’t said how many tickets have been sold, but estimates note about 235,000 grandstand seats and a few thousand more people could be in the temporary suites set up for this race inside turn one and on the backstretch.
It seems there will be between 75,000 and 100,000 in the infield, bringing the total crowd somewhere between 325,000 and 350,000.
The sellout is the first in 500 history. This will be the 100th... [more]