rain.png
Saturday June 19th, 2021 6:52PM

Indy 500 to host 135,000 in largest sports event in pandemic

By The Associated Press

The Indianapolis 500 is set to be the largest sporting event in the world since the start of the pandemic with 135,000 spectators permitted to attend “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” next month.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway said Wednesday it worked with the Marion County Public Health Department to determine that 40% of venue capacity can attend the May 30 race on Memorial Day weekend. The speedway is the largest sporting facility in the world with more than 250,000 grandstand seats and the ability to host close to 400,000 on race day throughout the entire property.

The attendance figure was determined after Indianapolis hosted the NCAA men's basketball tournament through March and into April with limited attendance. The NCAA allowed 8,000 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium for the April 5 men's championship game.

The Alabama spring football game last weekend hosted 47,218 fans, nearly 10,000 more than a recent Texas Rangers baseball game; an Australian Rules cricket match in Melbourne drew 51,723 in March.

Roger Penske, in his second year as owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, had hoped for full attendance, but IndyCar and speedway officials are taking pride in the upcoming milestone.

“This event and this place means so much to everybody we see every day and we hear from every day, whether they are Hoosiers or race fans from around the world,” Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp., told The Associated Press.

“We feel a real responsibility to protect that legacy and to grow it and to have the race," Miles said. "We're ready to take the next step in bringing back the economy and a lot of that in this city and state is driven by sports events which has been shut down for so many months. March Madness was incredibly successful, this is the next step and it just so happens this will probably be the biggest sporting event of the year.”

The speedway will be open to spectators every day cars are on the track beginning with the May 15 road course event. The viewing mounds in the infield will be closed, and general admission infield tickets will not be made available.

The infield's raucous “Snake Pit” will be closed and all the traditional concerts will not be held, including on Carb Day and Legends Day. There will be suite seating and the Pagoda will be open to those with tickets, but the midway will be closed.

Grandstand seating will be socially distanced; fans will have an option to return their tickets for an account credit.

Face coverings will be required on track property and temperature checks will be given at the entrances. IMS will also extend its vaccination clinics through the end of May with the ability for spectators to receive a vaccination on speedway grounds throughout the month

Miles anticipated about 60% of those in attendance will have been vaccinated. IMS has vaccinated approximately 100,000 people since it began operating as a site.

“Roger Penske and everyone associated with Penske Entertainment and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have been incredible partners with us throughout the pandemic," said Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. “It is high time for fans to return to the greatest motor speedway in the world with this safety plan in place.”

Miles said 90% of the IndyCar paddock had been vaccinated by last Sunday's season opener and there are two more opportunities for competitors to get shots before racing begins at the speedway. Those who choose not to be vaccinated before the track opens May 18 for Indy 500 preparations will be required to undergo daily COVID-19 testing.

___

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Online Auto Racing, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball, Indy Car Racing
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Greece to open tourism industry on May 15
Greece’s prime minister says the country’s tourism industry will open on May 15 when a ban on travel between different regions in the country will be lifted
2:39PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Dems push $25B for electric school buses, a Biden priority
Democratic lawmakers have unveiled legislation that would invest $25 billion to convert the nation’s fleet of gasoline- and diesel-powered school buses to electric vehicles
2:36PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Czechs to Russia: Let our diplomats back or more of yours go
The Czech Republic has demanded that Russia should allow its expelled diplomats to return to Moscow, threatening that otherwise more Russian diplomats would be asked to leave Prague
2:33PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Opt-out decisions throw wrench into NFL draft options
Caleb Farley was the first top prospect to make the decision that has added a whole new layer of uncertainty to the annual crapshoot that is the NFL draft
1:10PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Canadian Football League delays start of season
The Canadian Football League is pushing back the start of its season and reducing the number of games played due to the COVID-19 pandemic
12:59PM ( 2 hours ago )
Clubs try to keep Super League idea alive as it collapses
Atlético Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus have all dropped out of the Super League
11:57AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Young scores 25, Williams 22, Hawks defeat Magic 112-96
Trae Young scored 25 points, Lou Williams added 22 in his best game since returning to Atlanta and the surging Hawks pulled away in the final period for a 112-96 victory over the Orlando Magic
10:39PM ( 16 hours ago )
Following verdict in Floyd case, USC football reflects
USC was supposed to take the field on Tuesday for one of its final practices of the spring football season
8:17PM ( 18 hours ago )
Dogs' Wheeler declares for NBA draft, enters transfer portal
Point guard Sahvir Wheeler, who led Georgia in scoring as a sophomore, says he is entering his name in the NCAA’s transfer portal while also exploring his NBA options
8:00PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Andretti navigates personal loss, loneliness of pandemic
Mario Andretti is not unlike so many others around the world touched by the coronavirus pandemic
7:13PM ( 1 day ago )
Bowman denies Hamlin with swift late move at Richmond
Alex Bowman passed Denny Hamlin on a restart with 10 laps to go and drove away at Richmond Raceway for his third career victory in the NASCAR Cup Series
8:24PM ( 2 days ago )
Alex Palou scores 1st career IndyCar win in Ganassi debut
Alex Palou scored his first career IndyCar victory in his debut race with Chip Ganassi Racing by winning the series opener at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama
8:10PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Auto Racing
On College Football: Who would make 15-team super league?
What if college football’s most powerful teams, the biggest of the big boys, tried to do what is happening now in European soccer, where a dozen of the wealthiest and most successful clubs are in the process of forming a 15-team Super League
1:40AM ( 1 day ago )
Ex-Texas deputy wanted in deaths of 3 arrested after manhunt
Police in Texas say they’ve arrested a former sheriff’s deputy wanted in the shooting deaths of three people
1:24PM ( 2 days ago )
JT Daniels uses spring to solidify firm hold of Dogs' QB job
There is no quarterback controversy at Georgia
6:13PM ( 3 days ago )
College Sports
NCAA hits USC basketball with 2 years' probation, fine
The NCAA has hit the Southern California men's basketball program with two years’ probation because of a former assistant who violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he accepted a bribe to steer players to a business management company
2:31PM ( 6 days ago )
NCAA hits USC basketball with 2 years' probation
The NCAA has hit Southern California’s men's basketball program with two years’ probation and a $5,000 fine because of a former assistant who violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he accepted a bribe to steer players to a business management company
1:04PM ( 6 days ago )
Nielsen, networks clash on stats showing fewer viewers
It's a reliable sign of spring: television networks are grumbling that the Nielsen company is not accurately measuring how many people are watching their programs
5:17PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Castroneves starts getting acclimated to new team, color
When Helio Castroneves arrived at for testing Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he went right to Team Penske garage, said hello and quickly moved along
8:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Roger Penske bullish on large crowd for Indianapolis 500
Roger Penske expects fans in attendance for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May
4:55PM ( 4 weeks ago )
Good dogs! 20 years of covering Westminster Kennel Club show
To every sport, there’s a season, a spot on the calendar that fans mark for the big event
11:49AM ( 2 months ago )
Indy Car Racing
The Latest: Greece to open tourism industry on May 15
Greece’s prime minister says the country’s tourism industry will open on May 15 when a ban on travel between different regions in the country will be lifted
2:39PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Dems push $25B for electric school buses, a Biden priority
Democratic lawmakers have unveiled legislation that would invest $25 billion to convert the nation’s fleet of gasoline- and diesel-powered school buses to electric vehicles
2:36PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Czechs to Russia: Let our diplomats back or more of yours go
The Czech Republic has demanded that Russia should allow its expelled diplomats to return to Moscow, threatening that otherwise more Russian diplomats would be asked to leave Prague
2:33PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Canadian Pacific attacks rival bid for Kansas City Southern
Canadian Pacific railroad has continued its assault on rival Canadian National’s competing $33.7 billion bid to buy Kansas City Southern railroad in a formal letter to regulators
2:23PM ( 47 minutes ago )
EPL rebels apologize for Super League mutiny to placate fans
After the aborted attempt to form a European Super League, Liverpool owner John Henry is attempting to regain the trust of fans with an apology video
2:16PM ( 53 minutes ago )