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Indianapolis 500 officials announce lifting of local TV blackout and safety plan

LIVE BLOG: Indy 500 qualifications
Posted at 3:15 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 19:14:57-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials released an 88-page health and safety plan Wednesday that has been approved by the Marion County Health Department for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Speedway leaders also announced a local blackout of the Aug. 23 race will be lifted, allowing it to be broadcast live in Central Indiana for the first time since 2016. Capacity at the race will be limited to 25% across the grandstand, infield and suites throughout the facility.

The race will begin later this year with the green flag set to fly at 2:30 p.m.

Primary elements of the health and safety plan include:

  • Reassigned seating to provide for social distancing.
  • Masks will be required throughout the Speedway, both indoors and outdoors. In a conference call, IMS President Doug Boles said enforcement will occur in stages. "If appropriate we will be prepared to ask people to leave," he said. "I hope we don't have to, but we believe it's a reasonable requirement."
  • Race fans will be screened with a contactless thermometer each time they enter the Speedway for practice days, qualifications and on race day. If someone records a temperature higher than 100.4, an oral temperature test will be taken. If the person fails the second temperature screening, they will receive a voucher for a ticket refund for the account holder.
  • All drinking fountains and misting stations will be removed.
  • Capacity limits on elevators will be enforced.
  • Concession stands will be limited to offering pre-packaged foods.
  • Many activities including all concerts, the VIP Red Carpet and the Indiana Press Foundation's Last Row Party will be eliminated. Additionally, all activities on Aug. 22, including Legends Day and the 500 Festival Parade are canceled.
  • The entire facility will be open on race day, but signs will be in place throughout IMS directing people where to walk and sit.

Prior to race day, the Speedway will host practices on Aug. 11-14, qualifications on Aug. 15-16 and Carb Day on Aug. 21.

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