Cleveland National Air Show canceled for 2013 due to federal budget cuts
Posted in the Columbus Forum
#1 Mar 26, 2013
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland National Air Show has become a victim of the "sequester," as federal budget cuts that took effect at the beginning of the month have forced the cancellation of the annual Labor Day event.
Organizers of the air show issued a news release today announcing its cancellation. It's the first time the air show won't be held in Cleveland since its first event in 1964, said air show spokeswoman Kim Dell.
“After considering the effect this will have on programming, attendance and the financial viability of producing a 2013 event, the Executive Committee of Cleveland National Air Show Inc. Board of Trustees made the decision to cancel this year’s Air Show," Chuck Newcomb, executive director of the show, said in the news release. "Though regrettable, this action is viewed to be in the long term best interest of the Air Show, the City of Cleveland and the valued fans that annually attend the event.”
The air show attracts 60,000 to 100,000 visitors to Burke Lakefront Airport. It has an annual economic impact of $7.1 million.
"It was not an easy decision for the board to make," Dell said."It's a very big deal."
Federal budget cuts forced the grounding of air show staples such as the Air Force Thunderbirds and the Army's Golden Knights jump team. Those losses played a huge role in the board's decision, Dell said.
"If you don't have a jet team, your attendance is 20 to 25 percent below [normal]," Dell said. "If you take away all of the military components, it's not sure what kind of attendance you'd have."
Dell said about 30 air shows have been canceled across the country because of federal budget cuts. She said even if a budget deal were reached before Labor Day, it's unlikely the show would be held this year.
Air show officials will continue planning to hold the event in 2014, she said.
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