Photo: Walter G. Arce, Sr./ASP, Inc.

104th Indianapolis 500 Will Go On with Limited Attendance

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway confirmed Friday that the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge will only be limited to 50% attendance.

Track president J. Douglas Boles stated that with COVID-19 postponing the race from May 24 to August 23 and the unknown of having max capacity at large venues (IMS’s grandstand seating capacity is 250,000), attendance limitations had to be made.

“We’re committed to running the Indy 500 on Sunday, Aug. 23 and will welcome fans to the world’s greatest racing venue,” said Boles. “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.”

IMS will continue working with public health officials to finalize a health measuring plan which they hope to unveil in the future.

As of this time, the track are communicating with ticketholders to figure out their statues of whether or not they’ll be attending in August. There will be credits available for those who want to adjust their order and it’s encouraged for those who are in high-risk groups to stay home and come back in 2021.

Sports Business Daily’s Adam Stern reported that IMS has sold around 175,000 tickets shortly after the track’s announcement.

Graham Rahal tweeted Tuesday that it’s a good sign for what will be considered the largest crowd during the pandemic.

“Let the people come, we should fully understand the risks and take care of each other with great hygiene and common sense,” Rahal tweeted. “However those who know the risks and want to attend should be able to do so…and I’ll guarantee that place will be full because it’s THE 500!”

Next weekend’s Indy Doubleheader will go on without anyone attending, including the GMR Grand Prix at the 2.439-mile road course which will mark second race of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series campaign.

Live coverage will begin Saturday July 4 at Noon EST on NBC. Simon Pagenaud is the defending race winner.

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. He's also covered Idaho Athletics and high school football as both a writer and videographer. Additionally, he spent 2017 writing several racing columns as an independent journalist. Luis does video and photography, and is a fan of Seattle sports, a music critic and a motivator who wants to impact people's lives.