Indiana Audubon is thrilled to hear of the recent news regarding the end of the annual mass balloon release at the Indy 500. IMS’s decision to halt the release “indefinitely” is an encouraging sign of IMS’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

“We’ve partnered with 30 other organizations in advocating for this for years and so the fact they’re ending this indefinitely and citing environmental concerns is great news,” Brad Bumgardner, Executive Director of the Indiana Audubon Society, said.

“It’s a great outlook looking at IMS and the Penske Entertainment Group in their total environmental stewardship,” Bumgardner said. “Just last year, they did get the distinction with the Responsible Sports Certification. That highlights effort their making economically and environmentally to make sure their event is sound and safe not just for Hoosiers but the wildlife, too.”

Every year, thousands of multicolored balloons were released over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to kick off the Indy 500. While this fan favorite might be considered the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” it was a deadly tradition that needed to end. 

Indiana Audubon looks forward to continuing to make the Hoosier state a safe place for native birds to live in, migrate through, and to raise their young. Learn more about Indiana Audubon at


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