As we all know, the global COVID-19 pandemic kept us from fully enjoying live sporting events. Sure, you could attend a game, but there would be limited capacity – which made it less enjoyable. Now, with COVID-19 much more under control, live sports are back at full speed. I’m sure all of you Outsiders can agree with me on this: It’s awesome to see.
While the MLB is enjoying record post-pandemic crowds and arenas are being sold out for the NBA Playoffs, other sports are also seeing plenty of fans in attendance. Among those sports is IndyCar, which enjoyed a significantly large crowd for its Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
As the highly-followed race was fully open to fans for the first time since 2019, 325,000 people showed up to take in the action. Yep, 325,000. That’s a whole lot of IndyCar fans in one place – and that was awesome. According to Front Office Sports, the crowd of 325,000 was the second-largest in 20 years – behind only the 2016 event. The official attendance number was also a significant jump from the 135,000 that were allowed inside in 2021.
With the large attendance – which meant much more money – resulted in a higher purse. As shared by Front Office Sports, the total purse for the Indy 500 came out to $16,000,200. Because of the high total, the race’s winner – Marcus Ericsson – took home a payout of $3.1 million. Pato O’Ward, who finished second, earned $1 million. The average winnings for the Indy 500 drivers came out to $485,000.
Ericsson Had to Battle for Indy 500 Win
Marcus Ericsson – a native of Sweden – had to battle to win the 2022 Indy 500. In what was a competitive race, just like it always is, the Swedish driver had to hold off a number of other standout racers down the stretch. Ultimately, Ericsson took advantage of a late red flag and was able to come out on top.
The Indy 500 win marked the first of Ericsson’s career. In 52 races over four years, Ericsson has captured three total IndyCar wins and tallied six podiums. At just 31 years old, the driver should be able to win plenty more races moving forward.