The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that its grandstands will be entirely smoke-free beginning with the 2017 Red Bull Air Race. In addition, leading up to the Air Race, the track will provide limited smoke-free family grandstands at select Month of May events and at the Brickyard 400.
"Our fans should be able to sit in their seats while enjoying a smoke-free experience," Hulman & Company President and CEO Mark Miles said. "Starting in the fall, we'll be able to provide this opportunity to all of our customers."
Said IMS President J. Douglas Boles: "In recent years, our fans have consistently asked us to provide a smoke-free experience in the grandstands. This is especially true among families bringing younger children to the track. I'm pleased we're making this move and look forward to working with our operational team, fans and partners to implement these changes."
Both the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana and the Indiana State Department of Health applauded today's decision.
"The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana lauds IMS for moving the needle on Hoosier public health outcomes," said Bryan Mills, CEO of Community Health Network and founding member of the Alliance. "Indiana has worked hard to become an attractive place to live, work and do business. However, consistently poor health rankings undermine our progress. Today's announcement from IMS proves they are not only the world's premier racing venue but a premier partner in creating a health climate for the next generation of racing fans. Future generations will be the ones to gain from the health and economic benefits of a smoke-free environment."
Said Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H.: "The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the premier attractions in Indiana, and it's exciting to see it taking a public stand for smoke-free environments. I can't think of a more visible endorsement of better health for Hoosiers and those who visit our state."
IMS offered its first smoke-free family grandstands on Miller Lite Carb Day in 2016. This year, they will be available to customers at the INDYCAR Grand Prix on May 12-13, on Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 26 and at the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 23. To learn more about the family grandstands and purchase tickets, visit IMS.com.
Beginning with the 2017 Red Bull Air Race on Oct. 14-15, 2017 and continuing throughout the entire 2018 season and beyond, smoking will not be permitted in any IMS grandstands. Fans wishing to smoke will be asked to do so 20 feet away from buildings and reserved seating entrances. Smoking will continue to be allowed in the IMS infield.
"This is good news we're sharing today," Miles said. "And I'd like to thank the Alliance and ISDH for their support and assistance in reaching this decision."
In the coming months and as the 2018 season approaches, IMS will provide additional guidance to fans on the implementation of these new policies.