RENO, Nev. — Preliminary results from this year’s Reno Air Races shows a projected profit of more than $100,000, according to officials with the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA).
The original budget for 2015 called for a $630,000 loss, so the projected profit is very good news for the event, officials said, adding the results will be finalized by year end.
More than 150,000 people attended this year’s event, with pilots racing in six classes, an airshow featuring Tora Tora Tora!, a reenactment of the events of Pearl Harbor, and many other displays, including static aircraft and the expanded Drone Zone.
“The National Championship Air Races is not only the fastest motor sport in the world and an event that is followed by aviation enthusiasts from around the world, but it’s a treasure for our community,” said Mike Crowell, who was named president and CEO of the races in February. “Our goal for this year was to look at this event like a business and operate in such a way that would ensure it is around for many years to come. We had to make some tough decisions to get our costs in line, but with the support of our board, staff, event chairs and dedicated volunteers, we were able to turn a budgeted $630,000 loss for the year into a $100,000 projected profit, which is exactly what we needed to do.”
The 2015 event was a success in many other ways as well, officials said, noting there was tremendous support from sponsors, the weather was great, it was a safe event with no incidents, and the event drew people of all ages, young and old, and from literally every corner of the world.
Veteran Robert “Hoot” Gibson capped off the successful event by winning the coveted Unlimited Gold Race in Strega, unseating six-time winner, Steve Hinton in Voodoo.
“To say we’re very pleased with the preliminary results of the 2015 National Championship Air Races is an understatement,” said John Agather, chairman of the RARA board of directors. “We’re already planning for a great event next year and are excited to have the Blue Angels returning in 2016.”
The 53rd National Championship Air Races will be held Sept. 14-18, 2016. Tickets will go on sale after the first of the year.