The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, often shortened to Indianapolis 500 or Indy 500 and commonly known simply as The 500, is an American automobile race, held annually over the Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The event lends its name to the IndyCar class, or formula, of open-wheel race cars that have competed in it.
The event, billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, is one of the oldest motorsport events, and is considered one of the three most significant motor racing events in the world. While the official attendance is not disclosed by Speedway management, with a permanent seating capacity for more than 257,000 people and infield seating that raises capacity further to an approximate 400,000, it is the largest single-day sporting event in the world.
The race has been broadcast live on the radio in its entirety by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network since 1953. It was televised live from 1949-1950 on WFBM-TV. During parts of the 1960s and ’70s the race was broadcast on closed-circuit TV for viewing in theaters and sports venues. From 1965-1985, ABC Sports, now known as ESPN on ABC, broadcast the race via tape delay. Since 1986, ABC has televised the race live in its entirety (although live coverage is blacked out in the Indianapolis market). In 2007, the race was first broadcast in HD.
The 93rd running was held on Sunday May 24, 2009, marking the 64th consecutive year of uninterrupted occurrence.