Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#45. Cover your eyes at the Speedrome

Few times in my life have I been ripped off. In total these instances have cost me about $40, which isn't too bad in the grand scheme of things. Much to my dismay, this total increased by $60 after my attempt to complete #45 at Indianapolis Speedrome, formerly known as Kitley Speedrome.

Indianapolis Speedrome
The Speedrome's World Figure 8 Championship sounded like the perfect mix of adrenaline, intrigue, danger and oddball racing fans. Three hours of harrowing close calls with cars nearly (or actually) crashing into one another on the figure 8 track seemed like the necessary respite from a week of dull academic readings, heavy backpacks and advisor meetings. I was so looking forward to this I even invited my grandparents to accompany me.

When we arrived at the ticket booth, the weather looked on the verge of a storm. Although we considered going home, we had planned this and already driven there. We decided to go in and ask the attendant if we would be refunded if the race were to be canceled due to rain or lightning. She said she thought we would be fine but wasn't sure what the track's policy was. This seemed strange, but we bought our $20/person tickets regardless.

Inside the track, it was exactly what I expected. Enthusiastic race fans hooted for their drivers of choice, greasy concession stand food wafted throughout and run-down cars warmed up on the pothole-pocked track.

I still adjusting to my surroundings when rain drops began to fall. Soon lightning lit up the distant sky. Cars left the track and clean up crew members began mopping the track. Curious chatter about the future of the night's activities was rampant.

A voice came over the speakers about ten minutes later. It announced that due to weather and safety concerns, the race was canceled but would resume the following day.

We had paid $60 to watch four cars warm up for 15 minutes. In other words, $4/minute.

My grandma and I walked to the ticket office to request rain check tickets. We were not alone in our frustration; about 20 other dissatisfied customers filled the trailer-turned-office. The clearly overwhelmed staff members informed us that our tickets would be awarded the following day as long as the numbers on the tickets matched their selling records.

We left satisfied and looking forward to the following day.

The next day, however, the ticket attendant refused to honor our tickets. I am sure there was an administrative problem somewhere along the way, but regardless we lost $60. The Figure 8 race might be a heart-pounding race fan's greatest dream come true, but I will never know. Unfortunately after this experience, I will never return to the Speedrome.

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