The Price of Success

Has Iowa and Indycar gone too far? The Hy-Vee Indycar Weekend in 2022 at Iowa Speedway was a smashing success. There were big crowds, two Indycar races, and four concerts with popular acts. For 2023, the series and sponsor looked to improve the show, but has the average fan been priced out?

I was one of many fans who gasped at the renewal prices. In my case, my single ticket, upper grandstand, went from a weekend price of $156 to $348. I felt last year’s price was reasonable. Each day’s ticket was actually less than my seat for the Indianapolis 500.

Price jumps I have heard from other fans:

2022-$200 2023-$700

2022-$335 2023-$796

2022-$250 2023- $800

Last year’s $50 flex ticket is now $100 and kids under 15 years old must have a ticket. Last year kids were free with an adult ticket purchase.

The renewal prices. Prices listed are single day tickets.

While these prices are nowhere close to what a ticket to an F1 race cost, I find a jump of more than 200% unconscionable.

My understanding is the fees the 2023 performers charge are the reason. The promoters should have taken that into consideration before booking these acts. I don’t go for the concerts; none of them interested me last year, nor do they interest me this coming season.

Indycar and Hy-Vee need to make a decision- are they putting on a race with concerts or are they putting on a music festival with races as intermission? If it’s the latter, I’m not interested. Indycar is straying from its mission to provide racing entertainment.

Bud Denker of Penske Corporation talks about what a great value the event is. I guess it depends on what you value. I love Iowa Speedway and the racing there, but I don’t think it is worth $174 a day.

When he 20 event was announced, I thought that this package would be the future for ovals. The model may be, but if the series is going to price out the average fun, will it matter?

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