Indy 500 crowd reduced to just 25 percent capacity
By Brett Murray
Wednesday 22nd July, 2020 - 11:51am
This year’s Indianapolis 500 is set to take place on Sunday August 23, but will be attended by just 25 percent of the capacity crowd at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) because of strict COVID-19 guidelines.
IMS has prepared a detailed 94-page plan that provides guidelines and protocols for how next month’s event will be run, including the compulsory use of facemasks by all attendees.
The plan will be released publicly during a media conference call tomorrow and no tickets will be available beyond this Friday.
“In June, we announced the race was on and that attendance would be limited to no more than 50 percent of capacity,” said Mark Miles, Penske Entertainment Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer.
“We also made clear we intended to do things differently this year.
“By offering credits to fans who had previously purchased tickets, encouraging those over 65 to stay at home, limiting attendance in the infield, reducing tickets in our suites and promising fans their decision to not attend would not impact their seniority or right to renew tickets for 2021, we now anticipate attendance at approximately 25 percent of capacity.
“We will welcome fans back, and we have an aggressive plan in place, which has been developed through collaboration with national, state and local health experts.”
Some of the safety procedures being put in place will include the reassignment of seats to provide for greater distancing, the issuance and required use of masks, distribution of hand sanitiser to all who enter, temperature checks in order to enter, and changes throughout the facility to reduce lines and gathering spots, including limiting options from catering stands to mostly pre-packaged foods.
“We look forward to welcoming fans back to the 500 in person. Our outdoor facility is mammoth, and with attendance of about 25 percent, it will certainly look different this year,” said Miles.
“We want to demonstrate that even under current circumstances, people can gather with carefully planned procedures in place so we don’t have to go back to shutting down our country and our community.”
IMS will fulfil all ticket requests that have been received from existing customers and those tickets will be distributed beginning the first week of August.
The venue will certainly look different to recent years, especially the 100th running of the event in 2016, when the 400,000-plus capacity venue was sold out.