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Air Show Attendance Plummets Without Military Participation
DAYTON -- As expected, the number of people who attended the air show is way down. Only about 30% of the people attended as in a typical year. Air Show reps were expecting about a 50% decrease because of a lack of military planes, but this 70% drop was very disappointing.
"We don't think the weather had any play in that and that the accident had any play in that. That really the true cause is sequestration and the lack of military at the air show," said Brenda Kerfoot, Air Show General Manager. She added that Of the total tickets sales, 52% came Saturday and 48% came Sunday. In a typical year that split looks more like 60% on Saturday and 40% on Sunday.
Kerfoot said they are already planning on a 2014 show, but the scope of it could change depending on what our U.S. Government decides.
"Our hope and my desire and I think the entire American population to get the military back into the Air Show," said Kerfoot. She's referring to the The Thunderbird, due to perform this year, and Show reps found out in April they would not be flying.
"Blue angels actually schedule two years out. So they're in discussions with us already. So we are very positive that they are going to be able to perform next year," said Colleen Ryan who is on the Air Show board, but she also runs Vectren's Ohio operations.
They've sponsored 13 air shows, and they're already committed for another two. After looking at this weekend's numbers, the board has a lot to discuss.
"We need to look at what all of our options are. And certainly the sooner we know that we will or will not have a jet team - the better that's going to be for us to plan the future."
A future that has everything on the table. From looking at two separate budgets: one with military planes and one without to perhaps cutting the show down to one day.
But we heard a very collective yes that no matter what, the show will go on.
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