INDIANAPOLIS -- Officials have tightened security for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, which typically draws more than 200,000 spectators, in response to the deadly Boston Marathon bombings last month.
Oversize drink coolers have been banned, and a street that runs only a few yards behind the grandstands on the front straightaway of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be closed, track spokesman Doug Boles said Friday.
Spectators’ coolers will be checked at the gate and if they’re too big, “they’re going to be asked to take it back to their cars,” he said.
“We used to check them for bottles because we don’t allow glass bottles, but now we’re obviously checking more thoroughly,” Boles added.
In addition, an infield parking lot at Turn 3, previously open to fans buying a general-admission ticket at the gate on race day, required an advance purchase this year.
“We pre-sold all those so we have names, we have addresses, we have emails for all those folks,” Boles said. The lot holds between 1,500 and 1,700 vehicles.
The actions by track officials follow tightened security steps taken last Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes.