Indy 500 set to host 135,000 fans, largest crowd since start of pandemic

Aug 23, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indy Series driver Scott Dixon (9) during the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

About 135,000 fans will be allowed to attend the Indianapolis 500 next month, making it the biggest crowd at an American sporting event since the coronavirus pandemic began last March, officials said Wednesday.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest sporting facility, and the Marion County Public Health Department approved a plan that will allow the venue to run at 40 percent capacity.

The 105th running of the Indy 500 is set for May 30. The 2020 version of the event, usually held on Memorial Day weekend, was delayed until August with no spectators in the stands to watch Takuma Sato of Japan win at the 2 1/2-mile oval.

“Our fans mean everything to us, and we can’t wait to welcome them ‘Back Home Again’ for this year’s Indy 500,” said J. Douglas Boles, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “The city and state have worked with us to identify the appropriate health and safety precautions so that we can successfully host a limited but very enthusiastic crowd. The health and safety of everyone coming to IMS, along with Central Indiana and the Hoosier State, have been paramount throughout this process.”

Fans will be required to have their temperatures taken upon entry, must wear face coverings and will be spaced throughout the venue.

The infield will be closed to spectators, and the traditional weekend concerts will not be held.

An announced crowd of 47,218 attended Alabama’s spring football game on Saturday, making it the biggest crowd at a sporting event in the United States in the COVID-19 era.

It eclipsed the official attendance of 38,232 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, earlier this month when the Rangers played the Toronto Blue Jays in their home opener.

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–Field Level Media