Business

America’s Favorite Circus Is Closing After 146 Years

REUTERS/Jason Reed

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey circus announced Saturday that it will hold its final performance in May after 146 years of performances.

Kenneth Feld, the chief executive officer of Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling Bros. circus, wrote on the company’s website that: “After much evaluation and deliberation, my family and I have made the difficult business decision that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will hold its final performances in May of this year.”

Feld said that “ticket sales,” have been declining for some time, and after “the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop.” The cost of operating business was also reportedly so high that it made running the circus “an unsustainable business.”

Feld’s company got its start 50 years ago, and Ringling Bros. was its first major acquisition. “The circus and its people have continually been a source of inspiration and joy to my family and me, which is why this was such a tough business decision to make,” Feld wrote. “The decision was even more difficult because of the amazing fans that have become part of our extended circus family over the years, and we are extremely grateful to the millions of families who have made Ringling Bros. part of their lives for generations.”

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will continue its Circus XTREME tour, and will hold its final performance at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on May 21, 2017.

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Robert Donachie