Indy 500 to race Aug. 23 with half capacity of fans

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As the NFL tries to figure out when or if fans can return, other sports are gradually adding fans back to the mix.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway just announced that the 104th Indianapolis 500 would be run on Aug. 23, with attendance limited to 50 percent of capacity.

The race was postponed from its normal Memorial Day spot in May because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The permanent seating capacity of IMS is 250,000, and fans in the infield can push attendance over 300,000, so that’s still a gigantic crowd.

“We’re committed to running the Indy 500 on Sunday, Aug. 23 and will welcome fans to the world’s greatest racing venue,” IMS president J. Douglas Boles said in a statement. “We will be limiting attendance to approximately 50 percent of venue capacity, and we are also finalizing a number of additional carefully considered health and safety measures. We’ll unveil the specific details of our comprehensive plan in the coming weeks.”

They also said that individuals in high-risk groups “are encouraged to consider staying home and returning in 2021.”

The NFL already plans to block out the first few rows of each stadium, with tarps carrying advertisements. The Colts open their preseason schedule at home on Aug. 13, and have a nationally televised game against Washington there on Aug. 24, the day after the race.

The Kentucky Derby also announced this week they’d run on Sept. 5 with something less than a full house, though they haven’t announced specifics.