Indy 500 to reduce fan capacity to 25%, lift broadcast blackout

Sports

FILE – In this May 26, 2019, file photo, Simon Pagenaud, of France, leads the field through the first turn on the start of the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis. The once frosty schism between the two biggest racing series in the United States has thawed and NASCAR’s elite Cup Series will share a venue with IndyCar on the same weekend for the first time in history. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis 500 will limit fan attendance to 25% of capacity and lift a local broadcast blackout for just the second time in nearly seven decades when the postponed race is run next month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Speedway officials released a detailed 88-page plan Wednesday for conducting the 104th edition of the race in the age of the coronavirus. The first race under new track owner Roger Penske was scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, but the outbreak of the virus caused it to be rescheduled for Aug. 23.

Penske Entertainment chief executive Mark Miles acknowledged “everything will be different about this year’s race.”

Capacity will be limited to 87,500 fans at the massive speedway. Everyone will be required to wear masks and have their temperatures checked. Tickets will be distributed so that groups of fans are socially distanced and many ancillary events, such as Legends Day and the 500 Festival Parade, have been canceled.

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