The 2019 Indianapolis 500. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced on Tuesday that it will hold the 2020 Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23 without fans due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It's the first time in the race’s 109-year history that fans won't be in attendance and marks yet another professional sports disruption set off by the virus. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway had originally planned to hold the race at 25% stadium capacity.

What they're saying: “As dedicated as we were to running the race this year with 25 percent attendance at our large outdoor facility, even with meaningful and careful precautions implemented by the city and state, the COVID-19 trends in Marion County and Indiana have worsened," the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said in a statement.

  • "Since our June 26 announcement, 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."

Go deeper: Sports in the coronavirus era might need an asterisk

Go deeper

The next wave of the coronavirus is gaining steam

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive is rising across the country, including in states that are also seeing a spike in cases.

Why it matters: High positivity rates indicate a worsening outbreak, and put together with the rise in cases and hospitalizations across the country, suggest that the U.S. is in bad shape.

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Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave

Paris under curfew. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The coronavirus is still winning: Now even Germany is entering another national lockdown, joined by France.

Why it matters: France has been "overpowered by a second wave,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a nationally televised address today. Macron said the "new wave will be stronger and deadlier" than the first.