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Indy 500 capacity dips to 25% for August 23 racing classic

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Los Angeles (AFP)

The Indy 500 has slashed spectator capacity for the second time in a month on Tuesday, but at 87,000 fans, it would still become the largest US sporting event since the pandemic began.

Organizers said Tuesday that attendance at the legendary motorsport race on August 23 will now be limited to 25 percent instead of the 50 percent capacity announced in June.

"Our outdoor facility is mammoth and, with attendance of about 25 percent, it will certainly look different this year," said Mark Miles, chief executive of Penske Entertainment Corp.

"We want to demonstrate that even under current circumstances, people can gather with carefully planned procedures in place so we don't have to go back to shutting down our country and our community."

The new figure allows for roughly 87,000 fans as opposed to the 175,000 they initially hoped to attract.

The 104th Indy 500 was originally set for May 24 at the famed two-and-a-half-mile (four kilometers) oval, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced a postponement and shut down the IndyCar season.

Typically, Indianapolis 500 capacity can rise to 350,000 with spectators able to drive in and park on parts of the infield area, which also includes garages, seating areas, a museum and part of a golf course.

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