Sports event

Indy 500 to be pandemic’s biggest sporting event with 135,000 fans – NBC Chicago

The Indianapolis 500 is set to become the biggest sporting event since the pandemic struck in early 2020 with a sold-out, reduced-capacity crowd of 135,000 expected to attend Sunday’s race.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has worked with the Marion County Public Health Department to determine that 40% of the venues capacity will be licensed. The speedway is the largest sports facility in the world with more than 250,000 grandstand seats and the capacity to accommodate nearly 400,000 on race day across the property.

Other major sporting events have included more than 73,000 fans in the bout earlier this month in Arlington, Texas between Canelo Álvarez and Billy Joe Saunders and 78,000 for a cricket match last month in Melbourne, Texas. Australia. But the Indy 500 will eclipse those totals this weekend.

The track also decided to lift the local broadcast ban and allow fans in central Indiana to watch from 11 a.m. EDT on NBC.

NBC averaged 3.67 million viewers and a 2.3 rating for last year’s Indy 500, won by Takuma Sato in August when the race was moved away from Memorial Day weekend in due to the pandemic and took place without spectators for the first time in 104 races. IMS also lifted its usual local blackout last year because spectators were not allowed.

The rowdy “Snake Pit” infield will be closed and all traditional pre-race concerts will not take place, including Friday’s Carb Day. There will be seats in the suite and the pagoda will be open to those with tickets, but the halfway will be closed.

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