Indy 500 2022: What not to bring to Indianapolis Motor Speedway

2022-06-15 11:22:17 By : Ms. lisa kong

For the first time since the pandemic began, the Indianapolis 500 won't have any crowd restrictions.

Understandably, ticket demand is the highest it's been since 2016's historic 100th running. So let us help you move through all of those humans as efficiently as possible by outlining what you can and can't bring into Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

Before we get into the details, let's all make sure we understand that coolers will, in fact, be allowed in the Snake Pit. The speedway reversed its previous ban — an unpopular one with fans — saying it increased the space of the big party to make extra room. 

Coolers allowed in Snake Pit:  IMS changes guidance

Here are the rest of rules when it comes to what you'll be able to schlep inside. Keep in mind that those attending concerts will face a few more restrictions than fans who are just going to the race.

Drinking water is in now — so in, in fact, that people walk around wearing backpacks made for it. They're called CamelBaks, and the speedway is fine with you bringing them and other containers as long as they aren't glass. 

That includes those plastic water bottles that cheerlead you to the promise of hydrated skin. You know the ones — they usually start out with some version of "Ready, set, go!" at the 7 a.m. line and "Keep chugging!" at 4 p.m. Or maybe you're trying to reach goals with different beverages, in which case the casualties will be more than just innumerable trips to the bathroom.

Anyway, bring your drinks and your favorite eats in hard- or soft-sided coolers that are no bigger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches.

Whatever container you choose, just make sure it's not so big as to be a literal swimming pool. Even if you write encouraging messages on the side, it won't pass.

Consider that the speedway could house the USS Enterprise-D and Millennium Falcon racing inside its 253 acres. That makes rollerblading, skateboards, skates, pogo sticks, bicycles, hover boards, ATVs, mini-bikes and scooters enticing when you're trying to make your way to the restroom. Platforms, trampolines and scaffolding might be on the wish list of everyone who'd like a better view, too.

But if we imagine thousands of people employing such devices and then follow the scenario to its logical conclusion, it becomes obvious why none of the above are allowed. 

Girl Named Tom:  'Voice' winners to perform at Indy 500

When you want to reposition yourself to partake in the Midwest's best people-watching, many of you will find that your feet will be the best means. Those who need mobility aids can use them and bring their service animals. Otherwise, pets need to stay at home.

Little ones with little legs can use strollers. The same goes for lawn chairs of a regular height and folding chairs. Carts and wagons are OK except on race day.

Your smartphone, personal camera and arm are your best bets here. As long as you don't put your camera stand — tripods and monopods — in front of someone's face or use it in the grandstands, you can bring that, too. Creativity will be key for an aerial shots because drones and selfie-sticks aren't allowed.

Enliven your sensory experiences with scanners, headsets and binoculars. The latter will come in handy for more than just watching the race. The people wearing their best jorts — for the uninitiated, that means jean shorts — want an audience, too. 

The parties inside Carb Day and the Snake Pit are subject to a few more restrictions than those going to the race. For example, people can't bring flags into concert areas. But let's be honest: The revelers don't need them because they've always been creative enough to express themselves via their wardrobes and, ahem, other activities.

Here are a few more items you can't bring:

The other rules are pretty straightforward. Fly your flags outside concert areas but not on flagpoles. Save fireworks for the Fourth of July. Don't bring flares, lasers, weapons or, obviously, anything that's restricted by the law.

A few bans that you might not expect include aerosol cans and stickers, which can be small but mighty.

For more details and the full list, visit

Looking for things to do?  Our newsletter has the best concerts, art, shows and more — and the stories behind them

Contact IndyStar reporter Domenica Bongiovanni at 317-444-7339 or Follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @domenicareports.