LAS VEGAS – Racetrack promoters, Phillips-Van Heusen (parent company of IZOD) officials and drivers are on board with the plan unveiled by INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard on Feb. 22 to provide a complimentary ticket to the IZOD IndyCar World Championship on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Certainly fans are on board. They just have to purchase a ticket to any IZOD IndyCar Series race this season to be eligible to redeem for a ticket to the season finale. Full details for the ticket promotion will be announced March 1 on indycar.com and 866-INDYCAR. Tickets to the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships go on sale Feb. 25 through Ticketmaster.com.
“I think it’s great that the series is giving back to the fans,” said 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series championship runner-up Will Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, who attended the announcement at chic Crystals at CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip. “To give tickets to this race is a very good incentive because they get to come to Vegas on a holiday. To have the stands full of fans will make for a very good atmosphere.”
INDYCAR is the event promoter; it’s a track rental based on a sponsorship model instead of ticket revenue. The combination of exciting racing on the 1.5-mile oval, the championship component, the final event for the current Dallara chassis-Honda engine package, the glamour and allure of visiting Las Vegas should draw quite a crowd.
“This is a time when INDYCAR can tell our fans that we thank them for their support,” Bernard said. “For entertainment, you can’t get any better than Vegas. Competition, it’s going to be some fantastic racing. The economy is great right now and by offering a free ticket to anyone that goes to another event we think gives our fans great value.”
IZOD VP of marketing Mike Kelly said the IZOD IndyCar series already has given the company great return after the first year of the title sponsorship.
“I think our right place continues to be how can we energize the cities around the race weekends and the three weeks leading up to the race or the five weeks leading up to the race,” Kelly said. “And we are looking at Vegas and we are going to keep working, and I’m going to find money and ways to come in here and really tear it up.
“That’s what we do in markets when we go in and I think it’s a perfect one to do it. I can’t imagine what it could be like in five years when you consider kind of a Super Bowl city if you will, what Las Vegas could be like for a championship.
“It’s such a dynamic location. It’s evidence again that we hitched our wagon to the right horse. This is just more evidence of growth.”