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Thread: Alabama race--tickets and seating help needed

  1. #1
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    Alabama race--tickets and seating help needed

    We are planning to go to the Alabama race this year. I was just on the Barber Motorsports Park website looking at ticket options....it appears that they do not sell reserved grandstand seating....I called the ticket office there and confirmed this. I have been to quite a few races in my life, and I have never heard of such a thing.

    First, is this accurate? There are no reserved seats at the track?

    Second, assuming this to be the case, how early do I need to get to the track to get a decent seat. I generally buy a paddock pass and spend my pre-race time in the garage area, and then head to my seats for the race start. With no reserved seats, it would seem that by race start, all of the good seats would be taken.

    Third, I generally sit near the start/finish line...there is a view of the pits, the race start, and generally some large video boards to see the rest of the track...what is considered to be the best seating at Barber Motorsports Park?

    Looking for some help determining the best way to approach race day at this new track for me.

    Thanks.

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    it is all GA and a truly beautiful track, and the whole event is fantastic. I would recommend sitting down in turns 5 -6 that is where most of the passing happens. Fans sit up in the shade by the trees and have a really cool shot of the Indycars roaring at you coming downhill. Lots of crossover passes, and great outbreaking passes there as well. I don't believe they have any reserved seating, just bring with you a cooler, a blanket, or some comfy chairs.

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  3. #3
    There are no reserved grandstand seating at Barber.

    Some people bring a portable lawn chairs and canopy tent and find a spot by the Turn 2 or 14 grass mounds or back straight amongst the trees (you won't need a canopy here).

    There is a grandstand in the back straight but it's open seating.

    You're right, to find a good spot to view, it would be a good idea to come to the track at least few hours before the main race.

    There is no seating with the view of the start/finish line.

    I think the best seating area is the back straight where you'll get a view of Turn 5 which is where the most passing takes place.
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    Cautiously Optimistic drewdawg727's Avatar
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    I've sat in turn 14 for 5 years now (except the year that it rained where I didn't attend) and it's been awesome. Saw all of JN's divebomb passes in to 14a over the last 2 years and you can really see the car's speed through this tricky complex of turns. If you sit high enough in turn 14a, you can see the entry and exit of the hairpin as well for any potential passing.

  5. #5
    Dakinca91 dakinca's Avatar
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    The back stretch is best I think. Need lawn chairs and get there early. It really fills in hours before the race time. Plus if your there really early you can pick the best spots. A lot of people leave there chairs overnight to “claim” their spot. Not a fan of that policy so I get there early and move their seats if I want the spot.

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    Ohioan thehairpin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raskav View Post
    There is no seating with the view of the start/finish line.
    Is it like Mid-Ohio where hospitality areas take up the whole area or is the start/finish line a closed area seen only by competitors and tv cameras?

    Also, is there any permanent road course on the IndyCar schedule where a non-hospitality ticket can get you a view of the start/finish line?
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    Kart racer, Indyfan 1988- SteveK51's Avatar
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    It's a product of how the track is laid out that there is nowhere to see the front stretch except from the other side of the track. The paddock runs the length of the fronst stretch. So there isn't room left over for spectators.

    I prefer watching the race from turn 2. Lots of good racing, a good view of starts, a large TV screen, and it doesn't fill up so drastically that I need to mark my territory before the race starts.

  8. #8
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    I camp at the track and use the excellent tram system to move from viewing area to viewing area on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, I wake up early and set out the lawn chairs and canopy in our favorite spot on the lawn at 14a. This is an excellent spot to view the race but it has never filled in the years I have been attending.

    That said, if you a wish to sit among the shade trees lining the track from Turn 11 Eastward (I believe) then you better arrive early on Sunday. Especially if its going to be a warm day! These areas fill quickly.

  9. #9
    Ohioan thehairpin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveK51 View Post


    It's a product of how the track is laid out that there is nowhere to see the front stretch except from the other side of the track. The paddock runs the length of the fronst stretch. So there isn't room left over for spectators.

    I prefer watching the race from turn 2. Lots of good racing, a good view of starts, a large TV screen, and it doesn't fill up so drastically that I need to mark my territory before the race starts.
    It looks like you can see start/finish from a distance, which is more than can be said for any public seating area at Mid-Ohio.

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    I did a 2 day course there, going back in March. I hate Turn 14 and so does everyone else.

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    Sit on the hillside (in the shade under the trees) where the label 5C is on the map below. You can see them a little bit on the front stretch, a clear view of turn 5 (best passing zone), and then can see them come off turn 8 and all the way into turn 11.

    Quote Originally Posted by RHRfan#1 View Post


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    Don't let the lack of reserved seating deter you from going. Barber is a tremendous facility. Hopefully you will be there for the weekend because that will help you figure out where you want to be on Sunday. As others have said, if you can bring a chair, you can set up early race morning in your preferred spot. 14A, 2 and the woods on the 'backstetch' are the prime areas. If you can't bring a chair, the stands on the outside of 10 are open seating. They aren't huge, but you can generally get a decent seat if you are there an hour or so before the race. That is the area with the vendors and other activities (ferris wheel). You can see a lot of track from there: pick up cars out of 14a, bit of a view of front stretch, coming out of 3, down to 5, lose them in the turn but pick up out of 6 all the way down to the bridge at 7. Pick them up coming up from museum at 8 most of the way down to 11.
    Don't miss the museum and try to get it in before Sunday. May seem expensive at $25 or whatever it is, but well worth it. If you join the museum T9 club, they serve breakfast and lunch, plus you can walk out on the bridges. The bridge out by T4 is a terrific view.
    I camp at the track, one of my favorite weekends of the year (along with Road America).

  14. #14
    I went the last 2 years with my wife and have had a blast. Sadly, I won't get to go this year (I'm not living in the US for about a year...). They have trams (seated wagons pulled by trucks) that circle around the track continuously. There is an outlet mall near the track and they bus people in. Parking there is free. Otherwise, you can pay for parking at the track, but they have the bussing system down great that getting out isn't too bad.



    I like the back straight. You can see the hairpin perfectly! Turns 2/3 aren't bad either. A lot of people sit there. But the backstraight offers a great view and shade (though it makes it seem like there are less people at the track since everyone is covered by trees... If you watch old races you can see a lot of people sitting in the tree line).


    Barber is a top end track and really goes out of the way to make the fans happy.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by dakinca View Post
    The back stretch is best I think. Need lawn chairs and get there early. It really fills in hours before the race time. Plus if your there really early you can pick the best spots. A lot of people leave there chairs overnight to “claim” their spot. Not a fan of that policy so I get there early and move their seats if I want the spot.
    How do you know those chairs weren't placed there early by someone camping or just someone who got there before you?

  16. #16
    I attended this race for the first time last year. It is an amazing facility. There are so many different places to watch the the race, and it seemed to me that they were all good, depending on your preference. I was closest to Turn 10 near Fan Village. I don't think you need to decide now where you will sit. If you're there a day in advance for practice and qualifying, you can take the tram around the entire facility, get off at different stops and "scope out" the seating and view based on your own preference. As everyone states here, the facility is impressive. What I found most impressive was the management of the facility. By that, I mean, signage, tickets, parking, ease of getting around, extremely clean portable restrooms, great food vendors, and just the entire experience. It rained the morning of the race, and they had all the fan areas dumped in sawdust or whatever they use to soak up water and mud, within a few hours so guests weren't slopping through mud all day. Honestly, I'm pretty critical sometimes, but I can't find a single negative thing to say about this race! Before the race, I was worried about how much walking I would have to do, because the facility is huge. The tram takes you everywhere, I was worried for no reason. I've done more walking at IKEA than I did at this massive track.

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    One caution on the tram system is after the race. They simply can't move everyone quick enough plus they have spectator cars, motor-homes, etc trying to get out of the back lots (that is NOT a slam on Barber, its just not practical). So expect some time getting out on race day.

    I suspect Mr. Barber sets the 'tone at the top' when it comes to management of the facility. I have seen him at the facility a few times. Last year he was eating from the same food catering as the Museum Turn 9 members and hanging in that area. I've seen him out on the walkways. Barber gets it in terms of fan experience. If someone sees an issue they seem to address it, whether they are 'management' or just an attendant.

    For people who live semi-local, their season pass is a steal. It's $275 for the year and gets you into all of their events (think it's 7 or 9 events). That includes general admission, preferred parking, garage access for Indy, their bike race and the Vintage weekend. Add a museum membership ($90 local/$80 if more than 100 miles away) which gets you free museum admission and breakfast/lunch at major events. It's a heck of a deal if you can make it to the track 2 or 3 times (or visit the museum at non-event times).

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    I used to go to the Superbike races there. Just a fantastic place. Camp there if you can. Make sure you stay long enough to see the museum.

    I think my favorite spot is on the back stretch between T10-11. Shade and good view of much of the track.

  19. #19
    Dakinca91 dakinca's Avatar
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    This race must be doing quite well. Usually I get an email for 15% off tickets. I’ve got one the past 4 years. But this year they must have discontinued that practice for early buyers. I’m not complaining about paying full price, just the opposite. It’s good to see they are doing well on the event.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakinca View Post
    This race must be doing quite well. Usually I get an email for 15% off tickets. I’ve got one the past 4 years. But this year they must have discontinued that practice for early buyers. I’m not complaining about paying full price, just the opposite. It’s good to see they are doing well on the event.
    Better check your junk mail folder. I received an early bird offer (which I took advantage of) and just recently a VIP package offer.

  21. #21
    Dakinca91 dakinca's Avatar
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    The VIP isn’t for me, I looked into it. The early bird I never got. That’s unfortunate

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    Quote Originally Posted by thehairpin View Post
    It looks like you can see start/finish from a distance, which is more than can be said for any public seating area at Mid-Ohio.
    You can see the start/finish line from behind the pits with a paddock pass. The elevated viewing areas above the garages are awesome.


    Mid-Ohio states that items saving seats are not allowed to be placed overnight, not sure if it is enforced though.

  23. #23
    Racewknd Racewknd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clevelandindyfa View Post
    You can see the start/finish line from behind the pits with a paddock pass. The elevated viewing areas above the garages are awesome.


    Mid-Ohio states that items saving seats are not allowed to be placed overnight, not sure if it is enforced though.
    It is, that's why you'll see campers running to prime spots as soon as gates are open on Sunday morning.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakinca View Post
    The VIP isn’t for me, I looked into it. The early bird I never got. That’s unfortunate
    I just got an email offer from Barber for a Valentine's discount. 14% off General Admission. Use code LOVEINDY at checkout. Expires midnight, February 14.

  25. #25
    Ohioan thehairpin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clevelandindyfa View Post
    You can see the start/finish line from behind the pits with a paddock pass. The elevated viewing areas above the garages are awesome.


    Mid-Ohio states that items saving seats are not allowed to be placed overnight, not sure if it is enforced though.
    Thanks!

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    Went last year with some friends. I'd say it's worth going once for sure. It's a great facility and was nice to spend some time in the 70s instead of the 40s in Ohio in April.

    Some takeaways:
    1) There are 3 main spectator areas: Turn 2 Amphitheater (easy access to Paddock), Backstretch b/w Turn 10/11 (hairpin view, close to fan zone/concesions), and the Turn 14 Amphitheater (only walked through here).

    2) The track is best on TV and what makes it beautiful makes it "eh" to spectate. Turns 7/7a/7b/8 you can't really see from anywhere except the museum bridge. We sat super high in Turn 2. The trees make it so you can see Turn 1 or Turn 3, but not both. The seating in the trees along the backstretch was packed and covered in pine needles, but was shaded. I slipped a few times on the pine needles and almost ate it.

    3) Concessions options are lousy unless you're near the Fan Zone. There was one stand to service the entire Amphitheater in Turn 2 and one stand in the paddock.

    4) Paddock has some great views of Turn 1 and 15. Unfortunately, the only access point is near Turn 2. Only hard cards are through the other two gates. Makes sense to only have one redemption point, but once you have your wristband, why not let people access through any of the 3 gates?

    5) On-site parking is the best money you'll spend at the track.

    6) This seems to be a rule specific to Alabama, but people start marking their spot on Friday for the whole weekend. Pitch your shade tent and forget it. The Tennessee folks I was with said its the same at Alabama games for tailgating. Stake your spot Friday and its yours for the weekend. Only track I've ever been where that's allowed.

    PS - Re: Mid-Ohio, you definitely can't mark spots overnight. You can see the S/F line on front stretch from a few areas. The only real way to see the Alt. Start Line is on a teams TV in the elevated viewing area behind the pits.

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