With a reduced-capacity sellout crowd of 135,000 fans expected for Sunday’s race, the Indianapolis 500 is set to become the largest sporting event since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway worked with the Marion County Public Health Department to determine that 40% of venue capacity will be allowed. At full capacity, the speedway is the largest sporting facility in the world with more than 250,000 grandstand seats and the ability to host close to 400,000 on race day throughout the entire property.
The race will easily surpass other large sporting events of late. More than 73,000 fans attended the boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders earlier this month in Arlington, Texas. A cricket match last month drew 78,000 fans in Melbourne, Australia.
Last year’s race, which was moved from its traditional Memorial Day weekend slot to August because of the pandemic, was won by Takuma Sato. There were no spectators for the first time in its 104 runnings.
The infield’s raucous “Snake Pit” will be closed and all the traditional pre-race concerts will not be held, including on Friday’s Carb Day. There will be suite seating and the Pagoda will be open to those with tickets, but the midway will be closed.