Lack of fans at Indy 500 will have ripple effect on town of Speedway

Sports

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With no fans able to attend Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, the effect is being felt outside of the track.

Officials in the town of Speedway, where Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located, say that groups raise more than $272,000 in a typical year through tasks like post-race cleanup and parking cars.

“That impacts everything from student scholarships, to our robotics club and extra-curriculars for the kids, to we’re not a busing community – our kids walk to school. So, if they need a bus for an athletic event, we have to fund raise to pay for that,” said Kelly Turner, director of communications for the town. “When you look at a town of 12,000 people and see the donations are typically coming from the 350,000-plus visitors that come to town every year, it’s a huge gap to fill.”

“We’re scrambling now to try and figure out a way to replace some of these lost funds,” Tammy Smith, the director of Speedway Parks and Rec, said. “We all love each other; we all support each other, and we’ll get through it somehow. But any support we can get from our race fan family that show up once a year (would help).”

The town has an online COVID Community Relief Fund website to help organizations in need.

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