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 the 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, per the AP. The speedway will be open to spectators every day that 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 won't be made available.
The infield's raucous "Snake Pit" will be closed, and none of the traditional concerts will be held. 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, 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. As for competitors, 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 don't get vaccinated before the track opens May 18 for Indy 500 prep will be required to undergo daily COVID-19 testing. "It is high time for fans to return to the greatest motor speedway in the world with this safety plan in place," says Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb.
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