Tickets went on sale Thursday for the 2012 Milwaukee IndyFest, which will take place June 15-16 at the Milwaukee Mile at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.
Advanced purchase general admission/infield tickets begin at $17.50, with adult reserved seats for Saturday's race starting at $19 in advance. Fans can watch Friday's practice and qualifying sessions from the grandstands for free. Overall ticket prices represent a reduction of more than 30 percent compared to the previous IndyCar event at the Milwaukee Mile. Fans can order tickets online at the official event website, or by contacting the State Fair Park box office at (414) 266-7100. Box office hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. this Saturday. Normal box office hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
“IndyFest will be a celebration of Milwaukee and IndyCar,” said Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Sports Marketing. “The Milwaukee Mile has such a great history, and we want to honor that heritage by building a new tradition of fun. It's very important that we offer fans ticket prices that are a good value and give the event a festival atmosphere.”
Asked whether the loss of his former driver Danica Patrick to NASCAR could prove an additional challenge to ticket sales at Milwaukee, as well as other IndyCar races this season, Andretti indicated he believes there was an upside to her defection.
"I think we're strong in our own way," said Andretti. "Yeah, we [IndyCar] lost Danica, but I'm not sure that's going to be negative. I think she brought a lot of good stuff, but she brought a lot of other things that really took away from the rest of our series. I don't think that's healthy, and I think NASCAR's going to find that."
Andretti Sports Marketing also announced the first two major event sponsors. Marcus Hotels and Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation, is the first Milwaukee-based sponsor and will be the Official Hotel Partner of Milwaukee IndyFest.
DHL, usually Ryan Hunter-Reay's primary sponsor, but one that did a one-off for Mike Conway at Milwaukee last year (RIGHT), is the first national/international sponsor, and will be the Official Express and Logistics Provider of Milwaukee IndyFest. Additional local and national sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks.
The official charity of the event is Racing For Kids, in conjunction with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. More details on the charity will also be released in the near future.
The IndyFest weekend schedule begins Friday with practice and qualifying for the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Firestone Indy Lights. Fans can watch the action from the grandstands for free, while Friday infield tickets of $17.50 will include access to the IndyCar Fan Village, Family Fun Zone, local bands, traditional Wisconsin-style food and an autograph session with the star drivers of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Andretti Sports Marketing takes over as the new promoters of the race, after the 2011 race was a financial flop. The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee reported the track brought in only $300,000 from the race, half of its overall total of $600,000, short of the $1 million annual debt service State Fair Park pays on the Milwaukee Mile.