No balloon releases at the 2022 Indy 500

The release of balloons on the track has been part of race day since 1947.

INDIANAPOLIS — For the third year in a row, Indianapolis Motor Speedway has removed the traditional balloon release from its pre-race festivities for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

Alex Damron, vice president of corporate communications for IMS, confirmed the cancellation to 13News.

“As in 2020 and 2021, we will take advantage of the operational flexibility this decision provides and continue to add a second flyover to the pre-race show at the end of ‘Back Home Again,'” Damron said.

The release of balloons on the track has been part of race day since 1947.

“While we understand the historic connection between the ball release and many of our fans, we have discontinued it for the time being and will continue to evaluate the best opportunities to celebrate the unique heritage and traditions of our event,” Damron said.

In 2019, balloonsblow.orgco-founded by Danielle Vosburgh, paid for a billboard at 16th and Harding streets with a grant from “The Fund For Wild Nature” to try to stop balloon releases nationwide due to environmental concerns.

“BALLOONS POLUTATE AND KILL. #StopLitteringIMS,” reads the notice board, with the organization’s website at the bottom.

“They’re beautiful for a few seconds, but then we have to think beyond our fingers,” Vosburgh told 13News in 2019. “What goes up must come down, and even if they just might not land at side of the IMS as litter they were found more than 100 miles away One was found in Ohio Balloons are a threat to land and sea animals, wild and domestic: cows, horses, cats , dogs.They eat them and die too.

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Damron told 13News that the required personnel and space needed for the balloon tent will now be used for team and series partner fan activations, making the midfield pitch “more robust” for those who visit IMS in May.

“We are confident that this year’s pre-race activities will be as exciting and celebratory as any we have had at IMS,” said Damron.

Tickets are still available for the Indy 500, which takes place on Sunday, May 29.

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