The 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 is one of celebrated returns and a few lingering omissions.
But with an estimated 135,000 fans in attendance, it will be the nation’s largest live sporting event in more than a year.
Also back is camping. From relaxing in the temperature controlled comfort of a fully loaded RV, to pitching a tent in the Coke Lot, here’s what you need to know about camping at IMS in 2021.
The Indianapolis 500 parking lots
The 10 different lots available for camping are Lot 1A, Lot 1C, Lot 2, Lot 3G, Lot 3P, Lot 4, Lot 4A Premium, Lot 5, Lot 6 and Lot 9.
A complete map of all the lots and their position in relation to the track are available by going toindianapolismotorspeedway.com.
RV and travel trailer camping is available in all lots. Tent camping is available in Lot 1A, Lot 1C, Lot 2, Lot 3G and Lot 4.
The lots will open at 7 a.m. on Thursday, May 27, and guests will need to clean up and get lost by noon on Monday, May 31.
According to the IMS website, the only lot still available is Lot 1C, also known as the Coke Lot. The rest are sold out.
The camping rules
The IMS Code of Conduct governs behavior in all lots. Naturally it prohibits illegal activity, violence, theft, excessive noise, verbal or physical harassment of others, smoking in prohibited areas and more. The full list of stuff you can’t do can be found here.
Wristbands are required for Lot 1A and Lot 1C access during camping hours and must be worn at all times. RV and travel trailer camping passes include six wristbands, and tent passes come with four wristbands.
Up to 10 additional wristbands are available for purchase through the IMS Ticket Office for $15 each if you’re traveling with a bigger crew.
Vehicles can travel at no more than 5 mph in the lots, and all animals must be kept on a leash. I repeat, leash your dogs. It doesn’t matter how friendly they are to the neighbors.
What you can’t bring
Here is the full list of prohibited items for parking lots and camping areas.
- Firearms or weapons of any kind
- Fireworks and flares
- Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles
- Drugs and drug paraphernalia
- Trampolines, skateboards, pogo sticks, roller skates and swimming pools
- Scaffolds and platforms
- Box trucks, box trailers and trailers with golf carts
- Golf carts, ATVs, scooters and mini-bikes
- Items being offered for sale, free samples and promotional flyers
- Any items not mentioned that may pose a safety hazard or diminish the experience of other patrons as determined by IMS
What you get
Race fans who purchase camping passes gain access to a number of amenities throughout the weekend.
RV pumping, water delivery and waste services are available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
In Lot 1C, bags of ice will be available for purchase for $3 each from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Lot 1C will also be the place to buy firewood. It can be purchased for $8 per bundle, or $25 for five bundles.
You can grab a quick shower in Lot 1A and Lot 2 for $10 each. On Thursday, showers will be available from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. will be available from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., and again from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday through Saturday.
Electric service passes are available in Lot 3P, Lot 4, Lot 4A Premium, Lot 5 and Lot 6 for an additional cost and offer 30 amp or 50 amp options.
Remember, COVID is still a thing
Being outdoors doesn’t mean social distancing and other rules go out the window. The following are the COVID-19 restrictions and recommendations that will be in place for camping at the Indy 500:
- Face coverings are required per public health order.
- Wash/sanitize hands regularly.
- Observe physical distancing as recommended by the CDC.
- Do not enter other campsites unless invited. If invited, follow physical distancing
- standards and wear face coverings.
- Do not walk or drive through other camping locations.
- If you feel others are not practicing proper physical distancing in camping areas, contact a camping lot attendant or security.
- Do not touch other vehicles.
- Use appropriate entrances and exits to lots.
Why is Lot 1C called the Coke Lot?
Lot 1C, located on 30th Street west of Georgetown Road, got its name because of its proximity to the nearby Coca-Cola Bottling Plant. Hence, “meet me at the Coke Lot” became a common phrase.
Along with a nickname, the Coke Lot also earned a reputation as the party lot thanks to decades of hosting beer-soaked revelry late into the night.
The Coke Lot got a new set of rules in 2015, one year after 25-year-old Kokomo father Max Levine was shot and killed in the lot around 2 a.m. following a fistfight.
In response, the current wristband policy was established, and police were more present throughout the weekend.
Call IndyStar reporter Justin L. Mack at 317-444-6138. Follow him on Twitter: @justinlmack.