Roger Penske and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway upset racing fans on Tuesday with a major announcement. They confirmed that the 104th Indy 500 will take place on Aug. 23 without fans. The original plan was to allow up to 25% capacity with enhanced social distancing guidelines, but this is no longer the case. The iconic race will move forward in front of an empty Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"The number of cases in Marion County has tripled while the positivity rate has doubled. We said from the beginning of the pandemic we would put the health and safety of our community first, and while hosting spectators at a limited capacity with our robust plan in place was appropriate in late June, it is not the right path forward based on the current environment" the track said in a statement Tuesday. The speedway has space for at least 350,000 spectators, but Penske did not want to put the fans or competitors at risk.
When the fans saw this news, they sounded off on social media. They tweeted a mixture of outrage and disappointment. Some fans complained about "political BS" forcing the decision while others criticized Penske. They expressed the opinion that he "should have planned" better for the pandemic and shied away from making comments about fan attendance.
Unfortunately people as a whole have proven that they cannot be responsible. They would walk without a mask because they are drinking a beer or eating. They would congregate. It would be a disaster. No one has any respect for others sadly.— Paul (@AZPaulC) August 4, 2020
We’re being ruled by tyrants ripping our freedoms away minute by minute.— Nancy Eardley (@nancylees) August 4, 2020
I trust that the series, track, media, teams & drivers will find a lot of fun, creative ways to bring the excitement of the #Indy500 into our homes beyond the broadcast. 🏎️— Paige (@57Paige60) August 4, 2020
CANCELLED - Going home for Christmas last year (due to immigration restrictions)
CANCELLED - Flying to Nashville for Sing
CANCELLED - Conference/missions trip to Brazil
CANCELLED - 1st planned vacation in over a year to the Indy 500
I'm tired of #CancelCulture— Darren Wiebe (@DSWiebe) August 4, 2020
Better a race with no fans than no race at all! People will be angry, but this is the correct decision— Mitchell Trimm (@MitchokiM3) August 4, 2020
Penske said that if the race couldn’t have fans in attendance then he wouldn’t have the race this year. What happened to that? I understand this decision was difficult but why did he say that to begin with if he had no intention of doing it?— Misty Delporte (@nashauna8979) August 4, 2020
i'm crazy depressed. i'm 52 years old and this was going to be my first #Indy500— ThePhil Twenty-Six (@thephil26) August 4, 2020
No fans allowed at this year's #Indy500. Maybe Roger Penske finally woke up and realized how responsible race fans are after guzzling two six-packs.— Steve Harrison (@stevenlharrison) August 4, 2020
So it’s not safe to hold the Indy 500 with fans (I totally agree), but it’s safe to open schools???? pic.twitter.com/UME7a2YuJ7— Madi Pearson 🦋🦔 (@madi_elise2019) August 4, 2020
No conspiracy here, but I believe that the fans are part if what makes the Indy 500 the Indy 500, and if it can't be ran with fans then it shouldn't be ran. Just wait and do it right next year.— Benton Tackitt (@EBTackitt) August 4, 2020
I was seriously contemplating a drive to Ohio this weekend.. cancelled. Was working on getting to Indy 500 at end of the month... Everything is cancelled for fans. Ok.. God, I hear you.. Imma sit my ass down🙏🏾...👀#Indy500 #August— Qutresa M Hogges (@Qfresh5) August 4, 2020
This is so freaking stupid! Why would you guys go through all the trouble of reseating us and enacting very stringent (and valid I should ask!) measures to keep us safe, only to cancel it? This is so absolutely stupid! Come on guys, outdoors+mask+distance=safe!— Zach :D (@phx787) August 4, 2020
Tough decision, but the right decision, considering Covid cases & hospitalizations are on the rise in Indiana.— Jodie Moss (@JodieHMoss) August 4, 2020
This was unfortunately terrible management of the actual event. I would have respected this decision a month ago. Not told 50%, to 25% to none in a span of four weeks. Same information has been available. Very disappointed in the HANDLING of this, not the decision.— Andrew Fuller (@andrew_fuller14) August 4, 2020
This is pathetic and embarrassing. It goes from 50% capacity, to 25%, to nothing. Bad look for the Captain. Real tough guy two months ago stating he would not run the race without fans.— Ryan Summy (@summy_ryan) August 4, 2020