Indy 500 COVID-19 fan procedures and protocols at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indy 500 COVID-19 fan protocols
Grace Hollars/Indy Star/USA TODAY Sports Images
2 Comments

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has clarified its COVID-19 fan procedures and protocols for the Indy 500.

The track is encouraging fans to plan ahead by monitoring its website (IMS.com/PlanAhead) for updates on those attending the May 30 race (which will be broadcast by NBC). The track has been approved for a grandstand crowd of 135,000.

Face coverings are required per a Marion County mask mandate, but there no longer will be temperature screenings for entry (a policy change implemented May 14-15 before the GMR Grand Prix, which drew the crowd seen in the photo above).

Fans will be spaced in groups through the venue, and hand sanitizer, washing stations and masks will be available.

All IMS concession stands and merchandise locations are cashless this year. Tap-to-pay phone payments will be accepted, as will credit and debit transactions. Cash-to-Card machines, which convert paper money onto a temporary debit card, will be located throughout the facility.

Parking and gate locations will take cash.

The 105th Indy 500 likely will have the biggest crowd of the COVID-19 pandemic era.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which has a grandstand seating capacity of 230,000 according to IndyCar and IMS owner Roger Penske (noted in an episode of “Coffee With Kyle” last year), will be allowed up to 40 percent of venue capacity, the track announced April 21.

Between the infield, track suites and team personnel, Indy 500 attendance usually is estimated at 300,000.

Last year’s race was run Aug. 23 without fans. There will be no general admission admittance this year, so the track has canceled its annual concerts (including Carb Day, Legends Day and the Snake Pit) for May as part of its Indy 500 COVID-19 fan protocols.

Penske said he offered up the track as a mass vaccination site in a goodwill gesture toward having as many fans as possible for the Indy 500.

The track held multiple mass vaccination events in April and was offering free vaccinations during the May 14-15 race weekend for the GMR Grand Prix. Vaccinations for IMS spectators will be available throughout May at first aid stations located inside Gates 1 and 6. Vaccinations are also available at Gate 9 on weekends only as part of Indy 500 COVID-19 fan protocols.

Penske Entertainment President & CEO Mark Miles recently said 90 percent of the IndyCar paddock had been vaccinated and is aiming for 100 percent by the Indy 500.

Miles said IndyCar expects at least 60 percent of fans at the Indy 500 likely will be vaccinated.