The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced today that up to 40 percent of venue capacity will be permitted to attend the Indianapolis 500 next month. The total is approximately 135,000 fans in attendance for the 105th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. It is welcome news as last year’s postponed race was held without fans for the first time in the history of the iconic event.
Guidelines must be followed for those planning to attend the race, which includes required face coverings, temperature checks upon gate entry, proper spacing/distancing measures, etc. The spectator mounds will also be closed to the general public through the Month of May and no race day general admission tickets will be sold. Fans will also be allowed to attend all practice and qualifying days, including the GMR Grand Prix scheduled for the preceding weekend. The full press release from today is below.
[Indianapolis Motor Speedway Press Release]
Fans will attend the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, with up to 40 percent of venue capacity permitted, totaling approximately 135,000 fans. 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 include:
- Face coverings will be required and enforced throughout the venue.
- Temperature checks will be administered upon public gate entry.
- There will be spacing between customer groups in the grandstands. In addition, spacing will be enforced throughout the venue.
- Spectator viewing mounds will be closed to the general public throughout the Month of May, with no Race Day General Admission tickets sold.
- Frequent cleaning and sanitation processes will be in place, with hand sanitizer and washing stations readily available.
“Our fans mean everything to us, and we can’t wait to welcome them ‘Back Home Again’ for this year’s Indy 500,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. “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.”
“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 said. “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.”
“Roger Penske and everyone associated with Penske Entertainment and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have been incredible partners with us throughout the pandemic,” said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. “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.”
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.
“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,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “We’re excited to have Race Day back in May, welcoming fans as we continue to promote vaccination for residents and visitors alike.”
“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 neighbors. 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.”
Additional items of note include:
- 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 finalize purchases.
- Tickets for all other on-track days remain available, and the same health precautions for gate entry and grandstand access will be in place.
- With no General Admission access to the infield during the Month of May, the Friday, May 28 Carb Day concert, the Saturday, May 29 Legends Day concert and the Sunday, May 30 Snake Pit concert have all been canceled.
- 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.
- A fan FAQ with additional details about Month of May and Indy 500 items has been posted to IMS.com/PlanAhead.
- Fans will continue to receive ongoing event information and plan-ahead updates from IMS in the weeks leading into the race.
The NTT IndyCar series heads to Florida this weekend for the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg. The second race of the season will air at Noon ET on NBC. The series will then head to Texas Motor Speedway for a pair of races before returning to Indianapolis to prepare for the Month of May.
The GMR Grand Prix is scheduled to run on May 15 with the Opening Day of practice for the Indianapolis 500 set for May 18. The 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 will run on May 30.