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IMS to limit Indy 500 attendance to 50% capacity

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – While the Greatest Spectacle in Racing is still set to run in 2020, the stands at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will not be full.

That’s because IMS announced that they will be limiting fan attendance to the Indianapolis 500 to 50% capacity.

President Doug Boles tells us IMS is giving fans the option to give up their seats and have priority at next year’s race. This means some fans who have already bought tickets, may not get to see the race in person.

When News 8 asked Boles how many tickets have been sold this year, he wouldn’t tell us.

“So that ticket question is one of those questions that we don’t typically answer specifically. But I can tell you within the 500 hours after the Indy 500 last year in renewals, we’re closing in on 175,000 tickets sold in those 500 hours and obviously we have had several months since then,” said Boles.

He was not able to answer what IMS plans to do if not enough people are willing to give up their seats. He said customers have already been notified and many said they would give up their tickets because they don’t feel comfortable attending the race, even at half capacity.

Boles said once the track has all that information back from ticket holders, they will start adjusting the track.

“Our capacity includes infield suites, it’s more than just the grandstands you see. It’s a big 250 plus acre venue and there’s thousands of fans all over the place so once we begin to reduce that, that capacity includes all those spaces,” he said.

As of right now there is no plan to lift the race day black out. Boles said fans can expect a nighttime replay only, as they have in past years.

The speedway put out a statement announcing the move Friday morning.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 500 will now run on Aug. 23.