By Luc Zipkin
The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA), the organizers of the famous National Championship Air Races at Stead Field (RTS) in Reno, Nevada, has announced that they will make public a decision regarding the future location of the Air Races this spring. The renewed Air Races, which began at Stead in 1964 and returned every September until 2023 (except for cancellations in 2001 and 2020 due to 9/11 and the Covid-19 pandemic), are planned for 2025.
RARA has evaluated six different locations as potential candidates for relocating the Air Races: Roswell, New Mexico; Pueblo, Colorado; Casper, Wyoming; Buckeye, Arizona; Thermal, California; and Wendover, Utah. RARA representatives have visited each of the locations and evaluated a total of more than 1,500 pages of documentation provided by the municipalities and airport authorities of each location. RARA had previously planned to reduce the six contenders to a set of finalists and further evaluate the finalists, though it appears this plan has been scrapped with this latest announcement. Mike Espiritu, President and CEO of the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corporation, told the Roswell Daily Record that the Air Races could have an economic impact of up to $125 million.
The Air Races departed Stead Field in Reno for the last time in 2023 due to regional development and safety concerns from the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority. RARA faces challenges in sourcing a new location with sufficient physical area for the high-speed race course, easy access and lodging for many thousands of spectators, and an amenable airport authority and surrounding community. Vintage Aviation News is following this story and anxiously awaits further news on the future of the world’s highest-performance motorsport, with its close ties to the vintage and warbird aviation communities.In case you missed it, read here below the excellent piece by Gary Daniels about the 2023 Air Races.