IMS to allow 10,000 fans at Harvest GP

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Fans will once again be allowed inside of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

IMS officials announced that up to 10,000 spectators will be allowed inside for each day for the INDYCAR Harvest GP event from Oct. 1-4.

Officials say the plan includes have two “spectator zones” of 5,000 fans each and that the plan has been approved by the Marion County Public Health Department.

There will be additional precautions in place:

  • Face masks will be required throughout IMS
  • Fans will receive temperature screenings when entering the gates
  • Seats in the grandstands will be socially distanced
  • Fans must enter through pre-assigned gates and remain in designated zones
  • Each fan will receive a mask and hand sanitizer when entering the track

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said in a statement. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

The track holds more than 300,000 people, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, only a fraction of that will be allowed inside.

In Speedway, the track is a part of life. Scott Johnson has lived a stone’s throw away from IMS since 1979.

“It’s pretty exciting. It’s good to see people get back inside the track,” Johnson said.

After an Indianapolis 500 and a Brickyard 400 with no fans at the track, on Friday, IMS announced that up to 10,000 fans a day will be able to be in the grandstands for the upcoming Indycar Harvest GP event.

The IMS Safety plan calls for 5,000 people to be in the seats that they’re calling “spectator zones.”

One of those zones is at Gate 1, Turn 1. Five thousand more people will be on the other side of the track, at Turn 4.

“To do this with 10,000 people we think is about as responsible as you can get. We’ll continue like I said, as people come in the gates, make sure they’re distanced. We’ll do the same thing at our concession stands,” Boles said.

Johnson said he’s going to try to be one of the thousands of people expected in the seats.

“Having people back around the house. Having people inside the track. It’s always exciting to hear the roar of the cars again,” Johnson said.

Boles told News 8 that some of the food offerings at the concession stands will be a little different than normal. They’re going to have pre-packaged foods. That’s so you’re not standing in line as long or interacting with people like you normally would at an IMS event.