Just as quickly as Pocono Raceway made its return last year after a 24 year absence to the Indy Car schedule, it appears as if Pocono is on the verge of finding itself once again off the Indy schedule due to attendance woes.
Track President Brandon Igdalsky says that he plans to meet with Indy Car CEO Mark Miles and other high ranking series officials to discuss the track possibly dumping the final year of its three year contract to host the Indy Car Series.
Igdalsky wouldn’t go into specific numbers, said ticket sales for this year’s Pocono 500 were “kind of scary” opposed to last year’s event which drew an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 fans. Igdalsky brought the series back to the track because the fans wanting the racing to return, now there is no guarantee the series returns in 2015.
“As of right now, I can’t say yes or no,” Igdalsky said. “We can get out (of the contract). If we have to, we’ll do it. No sense in losing money, especially a significant amount of money.”
“The big thing is the fans,” Igdalsky said. “The fans begged us to bring it back. Every study and report we did, they all said they’d come. But they’re not coming in the numbers we need them to come in. Are these fans really here? In Pennsylvania? In the Andrettis’ backyard? Why aren’t they coming out? Where are they?”
Four time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon who attended last year’s Indy Car race at Pocono said he couldn’t help but notice a stark contrast between the attendance for an Indy Car race as opposed to a Sprint Cup Series event.
“I am very, very appreciative of this sport and this series that we are in because when you drive in that tunnel for an IndyCar race, and you drive in here for a NASCAR race, you get a perspective of how big our sport is,” Gordon said. Igdalsky says it will be a shame if Pocono loses its Indy Car date because of the fans.
“They do a lot more talking than acting, for one,” Igdalsky said. “It’s kind of a shame if it does go away because of the fans. If IndyCar racing goes away from Pocono, it’s because the fans did not come out and support the event.”
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