RARA Releases Top Three Finalist Locations For Future Home of Air Races

Reno Air Racing Association releases top three finalist locations for future home of National Championship Air Races

P-51C #19 ‘Boise Bee,’ flown by John Maloney, rounds outer pylon 2. Photo by Gary Daniels
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PRESS RELEASE

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) is pleased to announce the top three locations in the running to become the future home of the National Championship Air Races (NCAR). The three finalist cities are Casper, Wyo., Pueblo, Colo., and Roswell, N.M. The National Championship Air Races are a one-of-a-kind air racing event that has brought an estimated $100 million in annual economic impact to its current home in northern Nevada.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the amazing, positive feedback we’ve received from the six bidding communities as a whole, as we search for the future home for the National Championship Air Races,” said Fred Telling, CEO and chairman of the board for the Reno Air Racing Association. “There were many, many elements to consider, and we’d like to extend our sincere thanks to all the entrants who put in the time and effort to submit their carefully thought-out proposals. Through a rigorous vetting process, we feel confident that one of these three locations will provide the right mix of elements our event needs to continue to race well into the future.”

Unlimited Class P-63 #63 ‘Pretty Polly’ rolls past the home pylon.

In April of 2023, after receiving 38 inquiries from different locations, an official request for proposals from the Reno Air Racing Association was sent out nationwide to find a future home for the National Championship Air Races. Eleven cities attended one of two bidders’ conferences in 2023, expressing further interest in hosting the event. Of the 11, six cities submitted complete proposals.

Telling also expressed his appreciation for RARA’s race fans saying, “I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the overwhelming support we’ve received from our September Family as we go through this process. We are anxiously looking forward to welcoming everyone back to air racing in 2025.”

Static aircraft on display at the 2014 Reno Air Races. (photo by D Ramey Logan via Wikipedia)

A series of site visits were conducted at each of the six locations by some RARA board members, Class pilot representatives, and other committee participants to assess the viability of hosting the pinnacle air racing event at their facilities. A myriad of factors were taken into account, including the ability of venues to host large crowds, handle hundreds of aircraft, and support the large race course needed for the event. With these and many other factors in mind – Casper, Pueblo, and Roswell were chosen as the top three finalists.

Telling also conveyed his deep appreciation to Buckeye, Ariz. Thermal, Calif., and Wendover, Utah for their efforts and support stating, “While these locations were not ultimately chosen to be the home of the next NCAR, they each have tremendous merit and value in their own right. We will be reaching out to them to continue discussions on their potential as expansion venues in the near future.”

A final decision on the future home of the National Championship Air Races is expected in April 2024. In the interim, the organization continues to prepare for its 2024 air show and 60th-anniversary celebration in Reno in October ahead of the return of the air races in 2025. For more information or for ways to support the organization, visit www.airrace.org.

An estimated 140,000 Reno fans attended, up almost 40% over the previous years.

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