Indy 500 to run without fans

For the first time in history, the Indianapolis 500 will be held behind closed doors, as the COVID-19 pandemic trends deteriorate in Marion County and across Indiana.

IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway were initially hoping the 104th running of the world’s most prestigious race could run at 50 percent crowd capacity and this was further reduced to 25 percent.

The traditional raceday crowd is between 250,000 and 300,000 (2016) making it the largest one-day sporting event in the world.

However, it was announced today that the Aug. 23 event, rescheduled from its traditional Memorial Day Weekend date, would not be open to the public.

The IMS statement reads: “It is with great regret that we announce the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Aug. 23 without fans. This tough decision was made following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership.

“As dedicated as we were to running the race this year with 25 percent attendance at our large outdoor facility, even with meaningful and careful precautions implemented by the city and state, the COVID-19 trends in Marion County and Indiana have worsened. Since our June 26 announcement, the number of cases in Marion County has tripled while the positivity rate has doubled.

“We said from the beginning of the pandemic we would put the health and safety of our community first, and while hosting spectators at a limited capacity with our robust plan in place was appropriate in late June, it is not the right path forward based on the current environment.

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