By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Ideal news for racing fans and the entire NTT IndyCar Series paddock. Ranging from the competitors and media pupils alike, the news people were waiting for arrived Thursday.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced they’ll be allowing approximately 135,000 fans, which will be up to 40% of venue capacity. Tremendous progress compared to last August when the 500 went on under closed doors.
Following the approval by Marion County Public Health Department, next month’s race is expected to be the largest event since the pandemic. With limited attendance, certain regulations will still be enforced such as face coverings being required.
Temperature checks will also be administrated upon gate entry and social distancing will be enforced throughout the 2.5-mile facility.
“Our fans mean everything to us, and we can’t wait to welcome them ‘Back Home Again’ for this year’s Indy 500,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles. “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.”
Although the positives outweigh the negatives, the latter must be alerted. Throughout the Month of May, spectator viewing mounds will be closed to the general public.
Race Day General Admission tickets won’t be sold and there won’t be GA infield access for events such as concerts. Those concerts include Carb Day (May 28), Legends Day (May 29) and the Snake Pit (May 30).
Vaccinations will be available at IMS only on a selective day basis from May 1-27. Extra details regarding those dates will be announced at a later time.
“The number-one thing fans can do to ensure a great Race Day is get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said Penske Entertainment President & CEO Mark Miles. “We continue to offer vaccinations at IMS and will be extending our mass vaccination clinic throughout the Month of May. This is all part of the effort to continue getting Indiana back on track.”
Those who’d like to get tickets for the Indy 500 can apply online at ims.com. If spots become available, they’ll get first dibs to finalize their purchases. Other track events, including practice and qualifying, still have ticket availability for purchase.