Indianapolis Motor Speedway Tickets
Another popular and colorful area of Indianapolis 500 collecting are tickets. It is believed there is a ticket for every event* held at the Speedway (excluding, match races, economy runs, test sessions etc.) from the very first balloon race held in June of 1909 through today.
It is believed from 1909 through 1946, that in order to sit in a Grandstand seat, one needed two tickets: an Admittance Ticket and a Grandstand Ticket. The unused 1915 and 1946 tickets below clearly state they are not good for gate admission which implies one needed an admittance ticket for entry to the grounds as well as the Grandstand Ticket.
For admittance to the grounds, one needed only to purchase a Field Gate Entrance Ticket or a general admission ticket as seen below.
However, there are exceptions to confuse things such as the combined admission and stand ticket for the July 1st, 1910 Auto Races Ticket below which was good for admission and Grandstands B and C only.
From 1947 to date, tickets have an Admission To Grounds stub, Gateman’s Stub, Rain Check and the ticket itself as seen on the unused 1948 and 1994 tickets below. Why it took the Speedway nearly 40 years to put all of this on one ticket is a mystery.
To clarify an "unused, full or complete" ticket has all portions intact - nothing has been torn off. Unused tickets are generally harder to find.
A ticket "stub" has portions torn off and is considered a used ticket.
The majority of tickets seen from 1909 through 1941 will be used tickets or stubs and all measurements are taken from the stub or used ticket unless noted.
To clarify any confusion between a "Ticket" and a "Return Check", below are examples of return checks from 1921, 1953 & 1978. A return check IS NOT A TICKET. Return checks were given out when you left a stand or bleacher and were to be returned upon re-entering the stand or bleacher. More than likely, there were return checks before 1921, but as an earlier example hasn't been found, it is an assumption. Return checks were used through 1978.
* This information is to the best of our knowledge. If anyone has more information, please contact: NI500CC@NI500CC.COM