"While the State of Indiana plans to enter Stage 5 of its "Back on Track Indiana" plan on July 4, opening sporting events to fans with social distancing, Marion County - home to IMS - moved to Stage 3 ten days after the rest of the state, and we can not be confident that it will be ready to move to Stage 5 by the holiday weekend". However, Marion County - home to Indianapolis, the state's largest city - recently entered Stage 3 of the road map 10 days after the majority of counties.
"After extensive consultation with local and state health officials, we have made the hard decision to run these events without fans in the stands due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a collaborative process and a decision we're all aligned with after thorough review of the situation", Miles said.
Miles also said in his statement that IMS is hopeful to host fans in August at the next race on its schedule, the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
The festival was scheduled to take place on July 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was slated to feature a star-studded lineup that included performances by Florida Georgia Line, Dustin Lynch, Riley Green and more.
The events for the holiday weekend will also be renamed the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records, in recognition of the company's ngoing efforst to support the supply of hand sanitizer available to the public, according to IMS officials.
Fans who have purchased reserved seats or general admission tickets to the GMR Grand Prix, Pennzoil 150 or Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records will have the option for a credit to future IMS events, such as the 2020 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge or Harvest GP, or a refund. IMS will contact these fans directly.
When the NTT IndyCar Series was forced to re-arrange its 2020 calendar due to delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, one unexpected plus point came with the rescheduling of IndyCar's event on the Grand Prix circuit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"Thanks to the many investments and improvements underway at IMS, the facility has never looked better, and we can't wait to share it with you later this year", Boles states. The race, which had previously been set to be run in May, was moved to Saturday, July 4, thus putting the event on the same weekend as the NASCAR Cup Series Brickyard 400 on the oval on Sunday, July 5. With that decision and in accordance with all local social distancing guidelines, all other public events have been cancelled.