Indy 500 in 2020 will not have fans in attendance

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Roger Penske said that there would be fans in attendance for the Indianapolis 500 in August. Now, as we inch closer to the August date, the legendary team owner, who purchased the facility, said no fans will be allowed.

The reason behind the decision came due to a spike in coronavirus cases in Marion County, according to The Indy Channel. This will be the first-time in the 109-year history of the historic race that no fans will be in attendance at the 2.5-mile oval track.

IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden during the Iowa INDYCAR 250s Race 2 at Iowa Speedway
Josef Newgarden during the Iowa IndyCar 250s Race 2 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by IndyCar/Joe Skibinski)

“It is with great regret that we announce the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Aug. 23 without fans,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway said in a statement. “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. “We encourage Hoosiers to continue making smart decisions and following the advice of our public health officials so we can help get Indiana back on track.”

In addition, all races, practices and qualifications held at the track will be closed to the public. Those, who purchased tickets to this year’s event will be credited for the 2021 Indianapolis 500 that may take place in its original Memorial Day spot, depending on the coronavirus pandemic.

Teams will prepare for the Indianapolis 500 beginning on Wednesday, August 12th. The 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on NBC at 1 pm on Sunday, August 23rd.

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