The organizers of the Indianapolis 500, the most prestigious IndyCar race, reduced the reception of spectators in the stands around the famous oval circuit from 50% to 25% on August 23.
The reason is of course the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Based on the protocols implemented by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), attendance for the 104th edition of the 500 Miles on Sunday 23 August will be limited to around 25% of the capacity,’ the statement said. , adding that ‘the wearing of face masks will be required for all those present’.
The IMS is due to unveil its detailed plan for hosting the event on Wednesday, including guidelines and protocols for how the race will unfold this year.
‘In June, we announced that attendance would be limited to a maximum of 50% of the circuit’s capacity. We’re now forecasting around 25% attendance, ‘said Mark Miles, president and COO of IndyCar owner Penske Entertainment Corp., noting the’ implementation of a fan hospitality plan, developed in collaboration with national and local health experts’.
Reallocation of seats to allow a greater distance, issuance and compulsory wearing of masks, distribution of hand disinfectants, temperature checks at the entrance to the site, are part of the measures planned.
‘Our outdoor facility is gigantic and with around 25% attendance we want to demonstrate that even under the current circumstances people can come together with carefully planned procedures so that we don’t have to start shutting down our country again and our community, ‘Miles said.
Usually, nearly 400,000 fans in total can mass on the site including those positioned on certain parts of the interior area. In the stands there are generally 250,000, which, reduced to a quarter, would constitute an influx of some 62,500 fans.
Originally scheduled for May 24, the race was postponed to August 23 due to the pandemic that upset the start of the IndyCar Championship currently underway. Frenchman Simon Pagenaud, crowned Indycar champion in 2016, intends to defend his title won last year for the first time in his career.