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JUNE 3, 2004

Indy 500 ratings drop further

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been struggling against the gradual decline of interest in the Indianapolis 500 in recent years, but that process seems to be continuing with this year's race attracting 11% fewer visitors than last year. The event was beaten in the TV ratings for the third consecutive year by NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 race from Charlotte. The Indianapolis 500 coverage on ABC picked up a rating of 4.1 which was down from 4.6 last year while the NASCAR race rated 5.0 on Fox TV.

The gradual decline in importance of the 500 has helped interest grow in the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis although it too has fewer spectators than at the first event. However the race is still a success although we have heard stories recently suggesting that IMS boss Tony George has asked the State of Indiana for financial assistance for the event, which is a major tourist attraction for the state.

The Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race and the United States GP remain among the biggest single-day sporting events in the world.