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Old 11-19-2007, 09:17 PM   #1
Pete_Brissette
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Default Indy Gypping for the GP Next Year?

In light of some of the recent replies to the original posting below, I wanted to mention something that I neglected the first time.

This same friend did take his daughter to the Laguna GP last year; she was between six and seven months at the time. I spent a good deal of time with them (though not in their Turn 11 suite) and can honestly say that she was in good spirits most all the time, never acting up like a bothersome baby.

To my knowledge there weren't any times wherein she was beyond management. Additionally, I took my daughter (even younger) and had a great time. Both young 'uns wore protective hearing most of the day, and never showed any signs of irritation from noises. They were simply themselves, well-behaved little ones that only exhibited usual baby traits.

Much like yourselves, I'm not keen on screamers at the movies, and similar locations. But keep in mind that just "getting a babysitter" isn't as easy as, say, just "getting" a pizza, or something. Some people don't always have a trustworthy friend or family member available and would rather not have a relative stranger mind their kids. C'mon, just watch the news these days!

Furthermore, I want to reiterate that they would be in a similar indoor hospitality suite as was the case at Laguna.

So, I can, in many respects, relate to most of the comments. But I can also tell you that using a little common sense and preparation, little ones can be brought along. Do I necessarily encourage it? No, but I wouldn't dissuade someone from bringing there young children. And if I, as an organization like Indy, really didn't want kids around in certain locations of my facility, then simply spell it out: "No children under X age allowed..."

The counter to that might be, "Well, they'd get sued for discrimination or something." In our litigious society that's entirely possible. At that point Indy's response might be to do what they're currently doing and make it seem difficult for you to afford having your family along.

Theoretically though, all they're doing is charging an arm and a leg, but only for certain areas of the facility. An equally plausible scenario is that no one would complain, and simply pay full fare. So, then you'd have Indy rolling in dough (like they aren't already!), and a bunch of screaming kids around anyway. This is much closer to reality. Now you as a patron of the facility wouldn't be able to do a darn thing about it because they paid full pop and have every right to be there.

If Indy just said they don't allow kids under a certain age in certain areas and whipped up some reasonable-sounding caveats, then other patrons would have much more artillery in their arsenal.

Respectfully,
Pete


So, here's the deal. I have a buddy who was eager to start getting himself lined-up to attend the GP at Indy next year. He expressed to Indy that he was interested in their hospitality suite package. Indy eventually got back to him and the discussions about packages began.

It seems that during the course of reserving the package, he mentioned the fact that he would have his daughter who at the time of the event will be just about two years old, and another child that should be less than six months old at race time, with him.

That seemed to get the attention of the person he was dealing with. They informed him that, despite the children's age, he would have to pay for them to be in the suite as well... At full price! This would have doubled his cost to attend, raising the total ticket price to over $2,500 for two adults and two kids ages 2 and under.

After several calls back and forth, the person helping my buddy ultimately had to say that it was simply a matter of Indy Speedway's policy, or method(s). Unfortunately, no Indy staff higher up the chain could tell my friend any different.

It's interesting to note that for sometime, no mention of this indifference to age was to be found on any materials on Indy's website. That is not until, after this became an issue. Recently it appears that the general ticket brochure has been amended to reflect this "policy."

It's also interesting to note that they have another policy that reflects that children under 5 are free for general admission. Here's the official line from Indy's online MotoGP ticket brochure:

"*3-Day Reserved ticket good for admission to grounds and assigned seat
Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Any person, regardless of age, must have a seat
ticket for admittance to reserved seating areas.
** 3-Day General Admission: Ages 5 and under free."

Something to point out about the above is that the "3-Day Reserved" ticket isn't even for the hospitality suites. These are just $150 on the high end. Seems rather dodgey that for a ticket close to five times that cost, it won't get you carte blanche for a toddler or two. Yet, general admin is free. Despite his best bargaining, Indy staff were unable to even okay charging him the $300 cost for two Reserved tickets for his two young children. Nope. It must be the full price of the hospitality suite per person, they said.

Finally, something things to consider when contemplating all of this. Despite the fact that Indy insists persons, no matter their age, have a ticket for the suites, his toddler and infant most certainly won't be taking up any seats, eating any of the catered food, or drinking any of the beverages or beer, but they have to pay full price.

Furthermore, anyone who's traveled with children these ages knows that airlines won't charge a seat for kids under two, so long as they're not using a car seat to take up a seat on the plane. Interesting that Indy feels the need to charge full adult admission, yet the airlines don't?

My buddy also informed me that Indy's pit pass is only good for a half day, and you must be 18 to enter the pit area. This much I haven't checked on, but the rest of the above tale seems painfully true. My friend simply doesn't make up stories like this.

It should be noted that the Indy staff were always pleasant when assisting my friend. Alas, it didn't matter in the end. He's now resigned himself to less dazzling tickets, and apparently the loss of being on the first-come-first-serve wait list for following years races for the hospitality suites.

Motorcycle.com readers, I'd love to hear what you think about Indy's "no age discrimination" when it comes to their expensive ticket packages.

Thanks,
Pete
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Last edited by Pete_Brissette : 11-21-2007 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:01 AM   #2
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They are charging whatever the market will bear. Just like the rest of us do when we can get away with it.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:12 AM   #3
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I think the key is that the race people really don't want the kids there. I am certainly not biased against bringing kids to events, but I don't think a motorcycle race is where an infant and toddler belong. They certainly won't enjoy it, and will probably get bored and crabby to boot. FYI, I have two children myself, so I am not biased against people that have them, but IMHO there are places you should bring the kids (Disneyland) and places you should leave them home (MotoGP Race). If it was me, find a sitter for the kids and go to the race myself. It certainly would be a hell of a lot cheaper at this point, don't you think? I think the pricing is to discourage bringing kids to a race, which I would pretty much agree with.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by longride View Post
I think the key is that the race people really don't want the kids there. I am certainly not biased against bringing kids to events, but I don't think a motorcycle race is where an infant and toddler belong. They certainly won't enjoy it, and will probably get bored and crabby to boot. FYI, I have two children myself, so I am not biased against people that have them, but IMHO there are places you should bring the kids (Disneyland) and places you should leave them home (MotoGP Race). If it was me, find a sitter for the kids and go to the race myself. It certainly would be a hell of a lot cheaper at this point, don't you think? I think the pricing is to discourage bringing kids to a race, which I would pretty much agree with.
I'll bet you're one of those guys who gets upset when parents bring their squalling brats into a movie theater or a restaurant, too.
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:46 AM   #5
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I'll bet you're one of those guys who gets upset when parents bring their squalling brats into a movie theater or a restaurant, too.
Personally, I think screaming children should be muzzled or outright banned in all Public Venues - Parks, Malls, Airports, Bus Terminals, Disneyland............
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:57 AM   #6
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I'll bet you're one of those guys who gets upset when parents bring their squalling brats into a movie theater or a restaurant, too.
I don't get upset at all. After having 2 kids, I'm used to the racket. I do believe that kids are better left home if they aren't capable of being the least bit interested in what's going on.
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:30 AM   #7
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Owning a motorcycle insurance company and working as a vendor at Barber, Rd Atl and next yr VIR, I will tell you that taking ANY kid to ANY motor-event is a mistake. The kids cannot be expected to endure hours on end at such events. Campers may have it slightly better because the kids have a place to go. Certainly, the suite is better suited than GA tickets, but in all I'd discourage the practice. The kids get cranky and the noise is terrible for their little developing ears. I've told my daughter that the up coming race season she is eligable to attend with me, but if I get the slightest amount of whining out of her she will not be allowed to attend another one until she's 15. My buddy brings his GF and her little girl to Barber year after year- mistake!- within 2hrs of arrival time she's complaining about everything. You get to be your own parent on this but from my experience, unless it's a motocross event and the kids are participants don't bring them to a spectator event. You'll pay the price if you do. I certainly will at Barber when I bring my 10yo. After that I won't here crap from her until she's 15- hopefully.
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Old 11-21-2007, 06:40 AM   #8
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You got to be ouuta yer mind to bring kind that age to an event like this. $1250 buys a lot of babysitter.
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:43 AM   #9
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I wouldn't take kids that young to a race, as noted it's too much for them. MotoGP bikes are very loud, they'd be pretty miserable in no time.

I used to take them along when I was buying a new vehicle, there's nothing like two screaming babies to throw a salesman off his game. Got some pretty good deals just to get rid of us..
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:22 AM   #10
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You got to be ouuta yer mind to bring kind that age to an event like this. $1250 buys a lot of babysitter.
I think $1250 would also buy a go-round with the babysitter after the race is over!
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