Sneak Peek: Glamping at the Indy 500

Nine reasons to book the Speedway’s new infield camping packages

“Glamping” (glamorous camping) has arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway even before the cars. Call it April Madness, but a group of journalists spent the frigid Tuesday night there to see if the accommodations are up to snuff. Oh, cute, I thought upon arriving and spying the heavy, waterproof safari-like tents in the infield. I quickly realized what an understatement that was when I stepped inside my designated dwelling. This is nicer than my room at home! Inside I found a color-coordinated queen bed—not an air mattress, a bed—and on that bed, plumped pillows. And on those pillows, York Peppermint Patties. There were even flowers on the nightstand. While defrosting close to the fire, I realized: There’s something special about sitting under the stars at a globally renowned track, something fans at the Speedway for over 100 years have never been able to do. I could almost imagine hearing the accelerating vrooms of the cars.

So why would someone spend $650 for a four-night stay (that’s for two cots and a pair of tickets to the race, Carb Day, and Legends Day—packages go up to $1,100 if you want a queen bed) when rates at two-star hotels at the airport are half of that? Here are some of the selling points, besides the location:

  1. Those hotels are sold out.
  2. Your temporary neighbors will love racing just as much as you do.
  3. No need to bust out the tacky sleeping bag. All linens are provided.
  4. You will be able to brag about the experience of falling asleep in the IMS infield without getting “the eye” from concerned relatives at family gatherings.
  5. You can take a midday nap. Sitting in the sun all day can be tiring.
  6. If you take a party foul (i.e., spill beer on your shirt or wear the same Tony Kanaan shirt as your wingman), you can change in the privacy of your own tent.
  7. You have a bed to jump on if your longshot favorite takes the lead. Kidding—don’t do that.  
  8. More time at the track means a better chance of meeting a driver—many of whom rough it at the track themselves (in luxury motorhomes). Right? It’s worth a shot.
  9. Speaking of shots, you won’t have to drive home. Need I say more?

See more information at

Exterior photo by Heather Lloyd of The Blue Mare sports blog; interior photo by Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway