40 percent crowd capacity allowed for this year’s Indy 500

The 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 will run with up to 40 percent of venue capacity permitted, totalling approximately 135,000 fans.

40 percent crowd capacity allowed for this year’s Indy 500

The plan for the Sunday, May 30 race at the world’s largest sporting facility was developed “in close consultation with state and local health officials and has been approved by the Marion County Public Health Department.”

In addition to limited attendance, further key health and safety measures at the 2.5-mile track will include face coverings required and enforced throughout the venue, temperature checks administered upon public gate entry and spacing between customer groups in the grandstands and throughout the venue.

Spectator viewing mounds will also closed to the general public throughout the Month of May, with no Race Day General Admission tickets sold, and frequent cleaning and sanitation processes in place, with hand sanitiser and washing stations readily available.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles said: “Our fans mean everything to us, and we can’t wait to welcome them ‘Back Home Again’ for this year’s Indy 500.

“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.”

Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, and Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda take the checkered flag

Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, and Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda take the checkered flag

Photo by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images

“The number-one thing fans can do to ensure a great race day is get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Penske Entertainment president & CEO Mark Miles added. “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.”

In addition to the planned vaccination days at IMS from April 24-30, vaccinations will now be available on select days from May 1-27, with additional details forthcoming. IMS and the NTT IndyCar Series will unveil a media campaign to encourage race day attendees – and all Hoosiers – to get vaccinated immediately.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the best tool we have to help us return to the activities we love and have missed over the last year, and every day, more members of our community receive the lifesaving protection it offers thanks in part to community partners like Roger Penske and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Dr. Virginia Caine, director and chief medical officer of the Marion County Public Health Department.

"Our vaccination rates, combined with the outdoor nature of the event, make it possible for fans to return to these hallowed grounds for the Indy 500 this year.

“We are grateful to the IMS team for their collaboration throughout this planning process and appreciate their work to ensure vaccines reach our neighbours. I continue to invite everyone in our community 16 and older to visit ourshot.in.gov or call 2-1-1 to sign up for the vaccine.”

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Fans who do not currently have Indy 500 tickets and are interested in attending can apply online at ims.com. If additional tickets are available, these fans will be given first opportunity to finalise purchases. Tickets for all other on-track days remain available, and the same health precautions for gate entry and grandstand access will be applied. IMS customers still have the option to roll their 2021 purchase into 2022, receiving an IMS event credit rather than attending this year’s race.

Given the lack of GA access during the Month of May, the traditional concerts on Carb Day, Legends Day and Race Day have all been canceled.

Further details about Month of May and Indy 500 procedures, can be found at IMS.com/PlanAhead.

Indiana governor Eric Holcomb commented: “Roger Penske and everyone associated with Penske Entertainment and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have been incredible partners with us throughout the pandemic. It is high time for fans to return to the greatest motor speedway in the world with this safety plan in place. We’re going to have a great Month of May, so let’s go racing.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett added: “Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to safely hosting major events and showcases the strong collaboration between the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and public health partners. We’re excited to have Race Day back in May, welcoming fans as we continue to promote vaccination for residents and visitors alike.”

Last year’s 104th running of the Indy 500 was pushed back to August and was held in empty grandstands. Around 10,000 fans per day were allowed to attend the Harvest Grand Prix double-header on the IMS road course in the first weekend of October.

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Series IndyCar
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Author David Malsher
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