How Big Is Michigan Motor Speedway? [Answered!]

While the concept of the Big Three auto races (for which Michigan Motor Speedway is named) may be relatively new, the actual size of the venue is anything but. In fact, even before the current iteration of the “Great American Race” came around, the speedway was already a legendary American racing venue. It’s easy to understand why—with a seating capacity of 250,000 spectators, it’s among the biggest stadiums in the country. It also hosted the first Indianapolis 500 in 1936, which means it’s been around for more than 80 years. This year, the speedway will once again play host to one of the biggest sporting events in the world when the Indy 500 and other auto races are held there during the summer, but you may not realize just how big it actually is.

The Most Famous American Racing Venue

The Indy 500 is, for lack of a better word, iconic. It is the Super Bowl of racing, the culmination of nearly a year of competing in multiple sprint, midget, and stock car races. It is consistently one of the most-watched sporting events in the country, and it prides itself on being “The Greatest Spectacle In Racing.” It has also been called “The Most Famous American Racing Venue” and “The Mecca Of Racing.”

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened its doors to the public in 1909, but it took a while for people to know exactly what to make of it. The speedway started out as a horse racing track, and it initially drew skepticism from those who thought automobiles were toys and not a suitable transportation device. The first Indianapolis 500 was held in 1936, and it wasn’t until after World War II that the auto races became a regular occurrence. Since then, the event has only gotten bigger and better.

250,000 Spectators Can Fit In

The 250,000-spectator mark is a feat in and of itself. It represents the minimum capacity for an NFL stadium, an NBA arena, and an NHL ice rink combined. That’s a lot of people! And while the idea of packing in that many spectators may seem impossible, it’s actually quite easy if you know how. For instance, the speedway is equipped with 50 luxury suites and 70,000 folding chairs—a total of 80,000 individual seatings. Add in the 22,000 permanent seats in the stadium and you’re looking at a grand total of 250,000 fans.

The Arena Is Bigger Than NBD

The first question you might ask is, “How big is the basketball arena?” The simple answer is: it’s twice the size of the NBD Center in Detroit. The speedway also has a volleyball court, a football field, and a track that can be used for many different activities beyond just racing, so there’s literally something for everyone. The arena is anchored by a 23,500-square-foot atrium with shops, restaurants, and other attractions. It also has a 12,500-seat grandstand, making it the third-largest stadium in the country.

The Outdoor Amphitheater Sings

When the weather is nice, the outdoor amphitheater at the speedway is open for music lovers. The open-air concert venue is also used for graduation ceremonies and other large gatherings, so it can seat up to 500 people for a special event. It would be an understatement to say that the outdoor amphitheater is a spectacle in itself, especially when you consider the lights, the sound system, and those amazing views of the track.

One could easily spend a day or two at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway playing tour guides around the ballpark, helping fans get a sense of what exactly they’re looking at. There are so many iconic structures and places around the stadium that it would be a shame to not make the most of the opportunity. A day at the Indy isn’t enough, either—one should definitely spend at least two days, getting a sense of the place and what it means to be a part of motor sports in America. Seeing the track from a helicopter or an airplane is something else altogether, and the feeling of being suspended over the Grand Prix circuit, with thousands of cars hurtling past is indescribable. Seeing all that action and feeling all that energy is what ultimately makes the event so special. There’s just something about getting lost in the speed and the sound that just makes everything else disappear for a little while—it’s why the Indy is considered by many to be the Mecca of racing. There’s nowhere else like it in the world.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!