By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Attendance for the next month’s 104th Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge has been reduced from 50% down to 25% following Tuesday’s announcement from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In addition of the attendance being reduced for the August 23rd event, two more confirmations were made. The first being that ticket sales will no longer be permitted after Friday in order to make the attendance limit feasible. More importantly, face coverings are required for everyone who attend the 500-mile race.
Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles commented that when they made the announcement last month about reducing capacity to 50%, things we’re still going to look different as far as helping out folks who’ve purchased tickets if they want to attend or offer them credits should they decide staying home 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,” said Miles. “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.”
The 2.5-mile facility have prepared a full 95-page plan featuring guidelines and health protocols that’ll assure for a healthy and safer experience for this year’s running of the Indy 500. That plan will be released to the public Wednesday.
Among the precautions will include reassigning seats for better social distancing, distribution of hand sanitizers, temperature checks before entering the venue and multiple facility changes to keep lines and gatherings to a minimum. This would include limited concession stand options to mostly pre-packaged foods.
IMS are also intending to fulfill all ticket requests from existing customers and those who intend of going next month, their tickets will be distributed once the first week of August rolls along.
“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.”
This year’s Indy 500 will mark the eighth round of the NTT IndyCar Series campaign as Simon Pagenaud will look to become the first driver to go back-to-back since Helio Castroneves when he won in 2001 and 2002.