Texas allows sports venues to operate at 50 per cent capacity

Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. (Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has raised the live sports attendance capacity to 50 per cent in a further effort to boost the state’s economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The move comes after outdoor stadiums in most Texas counties were allowed to stage live sports with spectators capped at 25 per cent of their normal capacity from May 29.

Abbott’s new order covers collegiate sports for the first time, which will provide a major boost for the upcoming college football season, as well as indoor arenas. Organizations will have to first receive approval from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The NTT IndyCar Series has announced it will open its delayed 2020 season on June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The PGA Tour plans to restart its season with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth on June 11-14. Both events will staged without fans despite the ruling, however.

In other states, Professional Bull Riders, World TeamTennis,  and the National Hot Rod Association drag racing circuit have announced they will return to competition with limited spectators in July.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced it will host the IndyCar-Nascar doubleheader on the July 4 weekend without fans.

The racetrack will stage the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix and the Nascar Xfinity Series Pennzoil 150 on July 4, and the Nascar Cup Series Brickyard 400 the following day.