The Indianapolis Motor Speedway confirmed plans Friday to have fans in attendance at the 104th Indianapolis 500, but holding capacity to 50% of the usual limits. The race is scheduled for August 23, rescheduled from its original date of May 24 due to the coronavirus.
“We’re committed to running the Indy 500 on Sunday, Aug. 23 and will welcome fans to the world’s greatest racing venue.” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said in a statement posted to the speedway website. “We will be limiting attendance to approximately 50 percent of venue capacity, and we are also finalizing a number of additional carefully considered health and safety measures. We’ll unveil the specific details of our comprehensive plan in the coming weeks.”
Race officials say they are in the process of contacting ticketholders to determine whether or not they intend to use their tickets. An email sent to ticket holders Friday by Boles said that organizers aim “to accommodate at least 50% of your original ticket quantities in or near your current seating location.” according to the Indianapolis Star. Requests for quantities of more than 50% of original order sizes might be accommodated, the email continued, but may involve some being moved to another location.
“Individuals in high-risk groups are encouraged to consider staying home and returning in 2021,” the event website says. Credits will be available to those who choose to adjust their orders, though details on that have not yet been released.
Sports Business Journal indicated earlier this week that as many as 175,000 tickets have already been sold for the event, while the speedway boasts grandstand space for as many as 235,000 spectators. The 100th running of the event had an estimated 350,000 in attendance.
Plans for what social distancing and hygene guidelines will be in place in August for the fans in attendance have not yet been announced.
Photo: Scott Dixon takes a victory lap after the 2008 Indianapolis 500. Credit: Chuck Carroll via Wikimedia Commons