Some spectators to be permitted at Indy 500, but concerts called off

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The Indianapolis 500 can run with up to 40% of its typical spectator capacity this year, following discussions between the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and city and state officials.

The capacity limit will allow about 135,000 spectators for this year’s race, slated for Sunday, May 30. All spectators will be socially distanced and in rigid seating areas rather than on infield viewing mounds, IMS said Wednesday. Face coverings and temperature checks will be required for all ticket holders.

The measures were recently approved by the Marion County Public Health Department.

“Our fans mean everything to us, and we can’t wait to welcome them ‘Back Home Again’ for this year’s Indy 500,” IMS President Doug Boles said in written remarks. “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.”

While on-track activities are still on, concerts associated with the event been called off for the second consecutive year. Last year’s race was delayed until August and ran without fans because of the pandemic.

The Carb Day and Legends Day concerts on Friday and Saturday have been canceled, along with the Snake Pit concert on Race Day.

Fans can still apply for tickets for the race and other on-track activities through, although it’s not clear how many tickets remain available. Tickets can also be rolled over from 2021 to next year.

“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,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a written statement. “We’re excited to have Race Day back in May, welcoming fans as we continue to promote vaccination for residents and visitors alike.”

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28 thoughts on “Some spectators to be permitted at Indy 500, but concerts called off

    1. And, um, it’s outside, where the virus has been shown not to be transmitted (less than a few cases globally). Follow the science, Dr. Cain….

    2. Math and Science are not strong points for Caine (see last summer’s Lucas oil debacle) she is more of a virtue signaling and politics kinda Dr.

  1. Agree with comments that 40% seems too low for such a huge, sprawled-out venue encircling a 2 1/2 mile track. And outside for heavens sake! Penske must be shaking his head. But I’ll be there!

  2. I think its important to remember that while the venue can hold 400k theres not near that many people who go. I’m not sure of the exact count in recent years but 135k is not 40% of the 2019 attendance. I agree it should be at full capacity but the 40% is misleading.

    1. Exactly. They’ll be glad to be “full” at 135K. That will actually be about 50% of last year and not that bad.

  3. This is what you get with dumb ass mayor Hogsett.
    Surrounding counties have lifted mask mandates and some other restrictions, people that don’t want to be restricted need to go out of Marion county

    1. Thanks Brian, that’s really helpful. I guess you didn’t have a family member or close friend die of Covid.

  4. This is what you get with dumb ass mayor Hogsett.
    Surrounding counties have lifted mask mandates and some other restrictions, people that don’t want to be restricted need to go out of Marion county. Hogsett proposed to surrounding counties that he would control surrounding counties restrictions, mask mandates etc and he was told no, what a bozo

  5. why aren’t we at 100% of capacity by end of May? Anyone that wants a shot can get one and for sure will be able to get their shot if they are worried by the end of May.

    1. Because as yesterday, only 25% of Hoosiers are fully vaccinated. Lots of spread still going on out there.

    2. And as of two days ago, only 23% of Marion Co residents are fully vaccinated. That’s pretty pathetic.

    1. Exactly. What if it’s 90 and humid? What is the contingency plan for turning ticket holder’s away at the gate? Refunds? Exactly what temp is too high?

  6. Bryan, I assume you have an MD with specialization in infectious diseases, since you think you know more than Dr. Cain and other epidemiologists. If you don’t have these credentials, I suggest you go to med school and get them. Otherwise, don’t deceive the readers with your ill informed opinions.

    1. Well bright one, all you have to do is look at Florida, Texas opening up and states that didn’t restrict.

    2. I’ll go with Bryan. A big part of the problem is Caine and many other “experts” had comfy low profile government job and were suddenly elevated WAY beyond their depth.

    3. Lester, I assume you assume we all established doctor-patient relationships with this Dr. Cain, right?

  7. I say open up at 100% capacity, while requiring proof of vaccination to be at the venue. Have the concerts and everything. Indianapolis could host the first major mask free event in the World since the pandemic began. You also may get some of the Republican Covid-19 deniers to get their shot so they can have some fun without a mask. If you don’t want a vaccine stay home.

  8. how can packing people into the stands be safer than the infield?!?!?!? There is certainly more distancing between people walking around in the infield that squeezing people into the metal bleachers. Im not surprised at all they are limiting people in, that’s a given, but how in the world do they justify the stands and not the infield….