60,000 to IMS - 5/30/1910

The attachment below contains an article from the May 30, 1910 Indianapolis Sun reports that attendance at the final day of  May 1910 race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was about 60,000. The May 1910 race meet weekend included "national championships," a newly-announced distinction by the American Automobile Association (AAA) for select race meets. Car manufacturers were keen to make a great showing. 
The Sun ran a similar article on May 27 discussing track attendance. Check out other articles that provide additional summaries on the results of the races staged May 27 and May 28 elsewhere on First Super Speedway.
This article reports on not only the size of the crowd but also how the hoardes of people stressed the Hoosier capital's mass transit infrastructure. The Big Four Railroad was busy routing commuters into Indianapolis. Union Station reported that over 25,000 people had arrived before 11 am. Every train was reported to be loaded to capacity.
The Ben Hur line of the interurban rail service, promising 20 minute travel time from the Traction Terminal, was packed with hundreds of travelers to the track. (I want to note that one of most best-selling books of the time was, "Ben Hur, a Tale of the Christ," by Hoosier author Lew Wallace and this almost certainly had something to do with the name choice for the mass transit system).
Other people arrived from towns outside Indianapolis in automobiles, motorcycles, buggies and "every conceivable vehicle." Check out this great excerpt that sets the scene downtown:
"The principal streets in the business district were crowded by the surging masses of humanity and the crowds were in gala attire. Most of the department stores and offices were closed for the day so employees might attend the races."
Curiously, at least to me anyway, the article mingles in its report how crowds gathered both downtown and at the Speedway. My guess is that the main point was that Indianapolis was an attraction for people looking for a way to spend Memorial Day. Apparently there was some kind of ceremony conducted at the Soldiers and Sailors' monument to salute veterans and those who fell in service to the United States. Here's another picture-painting excerpt:
"The exercises at the Soldier's and Sailors monument were witnessed by several thousand people, who occupied every available inch of space and traffic was practically suspended on the Circle until the ceremony finished. The parks also received their quota of patronage and even standing room was eagerly sought by the pleasure-seekers on the street cars."

IMSdrawSun053010.pdf563.7 KB