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The Indianapolis 500 will welcome a sold-out 135,000 spectators on Sunday — nine months after the race ran without fans for the first time in its 105-year history.
“We’ve hit our capacity for this year’s Indianapolis 500 and look forward to hosting 135,000 fans at the world’s largest sporting event since the pandemic began,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway said. “We’re thrilled to welcome fans ‘Back Home Again’ and appreciate our loyal customers and their continued support.”
The speedway has 240,000 permanent grandstand seats and space in the infield and suites to accommodate nearly 400,000 on race day. But new owner Roger Penske couldn’t open the gates until October when only 10,000 a day were permitted into the landmark facility over a three-day weekend for an IndyCar race, The Associated Press reports.
Through vaccinations, more than 90,000 done at the speedway, Penske got the clearance to at last permit 40% attendance.
“With no more tickets available and 40 percent of venue capacity reached, we have decided to lift the local broadcast delay for this year’s race. Central Indiana spectators will be able to tune in on NBC beginning at 11 a.m. We look forward to an exciting and historic edition of the Indy 500 this weekend.”
Americans are eager to return to some sort of normalcy and want their traditions and their sports back, none more so than “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
The pre-race ceremonies for the 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge will feature all of the tradition and pageantry beloved by fans Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Fans attending encouraged to “Plan Ahead” through IMS.com/PlanAhead, an interactive web page that serves as a home base for fans headed to the track this weekend. Live coverage on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network starts at 11 a.m. (ET) Sunday.