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Indianapolis 500 to welcome fans, but at half capacity

Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The ‘aim’ is to accommodate fifty-percent of ticket requests for the 2020 Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23

Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host a crossover event on the July 4 weekend with a NASCAR Xfinity and IndyCar race on Saturday, a Cup event the next day. What the track won’t have are spectators. That will change when the rescheduled Indianapolis 500 will open the doors to fans on Aug. 23, but with a caveat. IMS will limit the number of people to see the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

“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 release. “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.”

Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo: Chris Jones via IMS Media.


The estimate of available grandstand seats is 235,000, but over 300,000 were in attendance for the 100th running of the 500 in 2016 (you can watch the entire race below). The question would then be, half of the permanent seats, or fifty-percent of the largest crowd ever.

This year’s rendition is the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500, and several reports have said there had been as many as 175,000 tickets already sold. Whatever the final number of spectators that will be permitted to see the race live, it will be the largest gathering at any event since the pandemic became a national crisis.

“We will implement enhanced health and safety measures across nearly all facets of our August events,” IMS president Doug Boles said in an email sent to ticket holders, obtained by the IndyStar. “One key pillar of our plan is to realign seating to allow for more space between customers on race day.”

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