Friday’s announcement by Indianapolis Motor Speedway was aimed at limiting the number of fans during this year’s race. The track is currently planning to allow up to 50% of its total fan capacity on the race site scheduled for August 23.
But the declaration will have many other ripple effects on the 104th edition of the ithe Indy 500. Here are the biggest takeaways.
1. Who / how many can attend this year’s Indy 500?
In an email sent Friday from IMS President Doug Boles to grandstand ticket holders, he says the goal is “to accommodate at least 50% of the amount of original tickets in or at proximity to your current location. ” This means that when IMS reassigns the seats of all grandstand ticket holders to take into account the appropriate social distance, people with 10 tickets, for example, wishing to keep all of their tickets for this year’s race can expect that at least five of them stay in the same general area of their original purchase.
IMS, which sold more than about 175,000 tickets (including suites, grandstands and general field admission) for the 2020 race, says it is open to requests for more than 50% of the original order size, but ticket quantities greater than 50% can be moved to another available location.
2. What is the capacity of IMS?
In 2016, IndyStar estimated that there were 235,000 seats in the gallery. It was estimated that more than 350,000 people attended the 100th sold-out Indy 500 sold out, including indoor spectators and others.
3. What are the next steps for ticket holders?
Ticket holders are asked to log into IMS.com by July 6 to change their ticket requests – whether that means keeping all of their 2020 tickets, giving up some of them, or declaring that their entire group will be not present this year. Customers who have questions or need help filling out the online form can call the IMS box office at 317-492-6700 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday Friday.
Ticket holders who do not log into their IMS.com account before July 6 may see their ticket order reduced by up to 50% and some seats reassigned elsewhere.
Those who have general admission tickets in field passes or in a row have no process to follow to assert or change their presence.
New race day tickets will be issued to all customers for the reprogrammed Indy 500. Tickets previously purchased and sent will not be valid for entry.
The decision to attend this year’s race will not affect seniority or the right to renew tickets for the Indy 500 2021.
4. What happens if the fans decide not to participate in the race?
For fans who decide to give up their place this year, IMS offers an account credit valid for other IMS events, including 2020 training, qualifying and Carb Day, as well as the October Harvest Grand Prix at IMS or the renewal of the 2021 tickets.
These account credits are not available for non-race day events – which means that IMS does not offer credits or refunds to fans who have already purchased admission for, but do not anticipate not attend, testing, qualifying and Carb Day. Tickets specific to the Carb Day concert will be reimbursed, although general admission to the field is not valid.
5. What does this mean for the blackout?
Despite a cap on participation in this year’s race, the President and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp. 1949, 1950 and 2016.
In 2016, IMS sold its grandstand in the first week of May, but continued to sell access to the interior and beyond until the runners felt they had reached their maximum capacity, which led to the only modern lifting of the blackout.
“I think you shouldn’t be helping fans expect a blackout,” Miles told IndyStar. “(Local fans) should assume that it is delayed, that you will be able to see it later today in this market. “
6. What are some of the measures taken to protect fans?
On Friday, in an email to ticket holders, Boles encouraged ticket holders age 65 or older, or who have underlying health conditions that make them particularly susceptible to COVID-19, to consider stay home for this year’s race.
For those participating in the race, IMS will provide a mask – which is recommended but not mandatory to wear – as well as a hand sanitizer.
Latest news from the Indy 500 2020:
Fans will not be given specific time to enter the facility, nor doors to use to enter and exit, and movements to the washrooms and dealerships will not be aggressively controlled. IMS executives said on Friday that they will be rolling out a more comprehensive health and safety plan in the coming weeks, which may include distinctions between activities taking place outside (in the stands) and inside. interior (in elevators, bathrooms and suites).
In addition, Miles said many health officials reassured them, “An outdoor summer event is less conducive to the spread of the virus than other environments.”
7. What do we say about the fans of the 500?
Mario Andretti, winner of the Indy 500 in 1969: “This pandemic has done enough damage to the world and we have enough information about things to know what we need. There are going to be protocols… but the whole world (tries to open up) is backing up, and maybe we can be the vanguard, showing people that we are finding some sense of normalcy .
“Let’s make the 500 the only one to guide the rest of the world and show that we can come back to life as we knew it. It’s my hope, and I’ll be one of the soldiers to make sure that happens. “
Penske Entertainment President and CEO Mark Miles: “We are determined to do whatever we need to do, even if it is not traditional, to make this the best possible experience for people during the pandemic.” We believe it is our responsibility to do so, and we hope that people will trust us to seek the greatest good here. ”
IMS President Doug Boles: “A 500 mile run on the Indianapolis fanless circuit would be just that – a 500 mile run without fans. And it’s not the Indy 500.
“To have the Indy 500, you have to have fans. “
Tony Kanaan, winner of the 2013 Indy 500: “There is no way to run this race without fans, and for me, there’s no point in doing it – because that’s why I run there. That’s why I became what I became. “
IndyCar Zach Veach pilot: “An Indy 500 without fans is an Indy 500, I don’t want to run. The fans are what make this experience. “
Email IndyStar motorsport reporter Nathan Brown at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @By_NathanBrown.