Indianapolis 500 will be filled to half capacity in August

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MAY 26: The field takes the turn one after the restart during the 103rd Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 26, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – For those Chicago fans who are hoping for the chance to visit a racetrack this year for a major motor sports event nearby, you might be in luck.

“The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” may have had to move to August due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re ready to welcome back some fans for the 104th running of the race.

Per a release from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, the Indianapolis 500 will be open to fans, with the attendance capped at half-capacity for the venue.

It’s expected to be the first event with fans at the iconic two-and-a-half-mile oval in 2020, with the NTT IndyCar Series and NASCAR races scheduled for July 4th and 5th being run with essential personnel only.

With a seating capacity of over 235,000, it’s expected that right around 117-119,000 people could attend the event. Per IMS president J. Douglas Boles, the speedway is finalizing specific safety details in the coming weeks.

It’s been an unusual year for the speedway due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the signature race was moved outside of May for the first time in history. Run since 1911 with a few years off during World War II, the race has traditionally been held on Memorial Day weekend and was scheduled to go off on May 24th this year.

The race has drawn over 400,000 fans at times, but that many won’t be inside once the engines are started in August. But at least some fans will be there, and in 2020 in sports, that’s a victory.

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