Planning for fans in the stands at the Indy 500

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Will fans be allowed to attend this year’s Indianapolis 500? That’s the plan, says Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles.

“We’re very, very hopeful to have fans. In fact, we’re planning for fans,” Boles said. “We got five or six different scenarios in the back pocket that we’re hoping to pull out.”

However, he didn’t say what any of those scenarios consisted of, or how many fans they’re planning to have in May.

One decision that has been made though is the cancellation of this year’s 500 Festival parade. Boles says it would’ve been hard to plan with the ongoing COVID restrictions.

“It’s even harder to take care of than in one of the venues for the NCAA Tournament that’s going on, or even the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the end of May, just because it’s widespread throughout the city of Indianapolis.”

Instead, the traditional parade will be replaced by something called the “500 Spectacle of Homes”, which invites people to decorate their porches and houses.

“We started these porch parties a few years ago for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, where people would register at IMS.com and we would do driver visits and surprise people with swag bags. It’s really, like, trying to put that on steroids.”

Then, on May 29 — the day before the race — the drivers in this year’s Indy 500 will do their own parade.

“We’re going to take our 33 drivers and put them in some of our Chevrolet Camaro event cars, drive them around the city, and we’ll make some surprise visits to some people’s houses and thank them for participating.”

Boles says, in the next few days, they’ll create a link on the IMS website where people can register their home.

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