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SPEEDWAY, Ind. — There will be no fans at the Indianapolis 500 this year.

“It is with great regret that we announce the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Aug. 23 without fans,” said IMS in a statement. “This tough decision was made following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership.”

Since the track’s June 26 announcement, they say the number of coronavirus cases in Marion County has tripled while the positivity rate has doubled. It stands at 9.1-percent as of Tuesday afternoon.

IMS owner Roger Penske had said earlier this year the race “will be run with fans.” The track had been under pressure from health agencies, such as IU Health, to run the race without fans over growing concern about the spread of the coronavirus.

The plan had originally been for fans to attend the race at up to 25-percent capacity, roughly 88,000 people. Earlier, it had been announced the race would be run with 50-percent capacity attendance.

“We encourage Hoosiers to continue making smart decisions and following the advice of our public health officials so we can help get Indiana back on track,” they added.

The race will still be run as planned on Aug 23., but the grandstands will be empty. Practice and qualifying will be closed to fans as well.

As far as refunds are concerned for ticketholders, IMS said in an email that ticketholders “will receive an IMS account credit for your tickets to all August events and all related items” and that they “will have seniority” in getting the tickets they paid for for the 2021 race.

Gov. Eric Holcomb released a statement about the announcement from IMS:

“Throughout this unprecedented process, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has always prioritized the safety of the fans. I am grateful for Roger Penske’s leadership and his entire team for thoughtfully approaching this decision with transparency and collaboration. I want to encourage Hoosiers to continue to social distance, wear masks and take precautions so we can continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and hear the roar of the engines at the track next May.”

The following statement from Mayor Joe Hogsett:

“Roger Penske and the entire leadership team at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have consistently made clear that their highest priority is the safety of Indy 500 fans. That has been evident throughout the last several months, as they have consistently lived up to their commitment to collaborative planning and careful consideration of the data.

 For more than a century the Indianapolis 500 has been a favorite community tradition and I’m confident that fans will soon gather in the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway once again.”