Builds Upon New National Ranking: Fourth Most Attended Fair in the U.S.
Phase Two Fair Task Force to Hold Public Input Session to Continue Improving the Fair Experience
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Great New York State Fair Cyber Monday tickets sold out in just over two hours. The sale will be extended with an additional 25,000 tickets available for purchase online beginning at 3 p.m., offering 50 percent off admission at $3 per ticket. The Cyber Monday sellout reinforces the Fair’s popularity and its newest ranking by CarnivalWarehouse – an online industry publication that ranks the top 50 fairs and festivals in North America. The Fair jumped from seventh to fourth place for most attended State fair in the U.S. as a result of the more than 1.1 million visitors in 2016. To continue growing the fair’s attendance, the Phase Two Task Force will hold a public input session on December 6 to help shape future improvements to the fairgrounds.
"The Cyber Monday sellout and jump in national ranking is proof positive that our record investment in the Great New York State Fair is paying off,” Governor Cuomo said. “In just one year, the Fair has raised its profile from coast-to-coast as a top destination, attracting more visitors to Central New York than ever before. Through this Phase Two Task Force, we will continue to transform the fairgrounds and improve the Fair experience for New Yorkers and visitors alike.”
In response to unprecedented demand and to thank fairgoers for the greatest year in the Fair’s long history, the New York State Fair has reopened its Cyber Monday sale, adding 25,000 additional tickets to be sold for $3 each beginning at 3 p.m. today. The Fair’s Cyber Monday ticket sale, which started at 6 a.m. this morning, sold out of the 20,000 available admission tickets by 8:20 a.m. This is the lowest ticket price that will be available to the 2017 Fair, which will take place August 24 to September 4 next year.
The online-only sale is offering 50 percent off the regular advance sale price and 70 percent off the $10 price at the gate during the Fair. Tickets will be available the Fair’s online ticket sales site at www.etix.com/ticket/p/4350112.
Etix charges 13 cents per ticket and a credit card fee of 2.5 percent per ticket, making the total cost of each ticket $3.21. Purchases are limited to eight tickets per person. Tickets may be printed or sent to a mobile phone or device to show proof of purchase for entrance to the Fair.
Great New York State Fair Ranks Fourth in the U.S.
The Governor also announced that the Great New York State Fair now ranks fourth among all State fairs on the national industry publication, CarnivalWarehouse.com. The Fair’s jump from seventh to fourth place is a result of the record-breaking year and a 23 percent increase in attendance to the newly-revitalized Fairgrounds with more than 1.1 million visitors in 2016.
The Fair also moved up from 20th to 13th place on the overall Top 50 list, which is compiled by the industry publication using attendance reports from various eligible venues, including privately run fairs. In addition, the Erie County Fair placed 19th on the Top 50 list and the Dutchess County Fair placed 49th.
The 2016 Fair debuted the newly transformed fairgrounds, revitalized by the Governor's $50 million investment, the first major investment in 80 years. This year, fairgoers walked through a beautiful new Main Gate to find a spacious Chevy Court area, and they enjoyed a larger and improved Wade Shows Midway, wide open streets, and more seating and shade. The new Empire RV Park also sold out of available spaces well before the Fair opened.
The State’s $50 million investment and marketing campaigns, coupled with a strong lineup of entertainment and good weather helped drive attendance to an all-time high of 1,117,630 visitors in 2016, 23 percent higher than in 2015. Several daily attendance records were broken, including five days that recorded daily attendance of more than 100,000 visitors. Fairgoers also gave record high marks for family friendliness and the quality of its events in the Fair’s annual survey. In addition, the Fair’s Wade Shows Midway finished third on the CarnivalWarehouse top carnivals ranking, with total event attendance increasing from 4.4 million in 2015 to 5.1 million this year.
State Agriculture Commissioner & Co-Chair of the State Fair Task Force Richard A. Ball said, “The high demand for tickets, earning a top-ranking by CarnivalWarehouse, and the record success of this year's Fair reaffirm its importance as a major economic engine for Central NY and the State. It is critical we continue to invest in the Fair’s growth and as Co-Chair of the State Fair Task Force, I am excited to begin our work of building on these great accomplishments. I also looking forward to hearing the ideas and fresh perspective from fairgoers at next week’s public meeting.”
Onondaga County Executive & Co-Chair of the State Fair Task Force Joanie Mahoney said, "It is great news that tickets for the Cyber Monday sale sold out in just a few hours and the New York State Fair has risen into the Top 5 of most attended State fairs in the nation. Governor Cuomo's efforts to revitalize our Fairgrounds and attract more visitors is working. Now, as the Task Force begins its work, we are looking forward to hearing the ideas of members of the public and stakeholders in the future of the Fairgrounds, the Lakeview Amphitheater, and the entire region. We are creating an incredible engine for economic growth and believe the best ideas can bring greater results for everyone."
Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, "It was a terrific year, and I’m thrilled that we have surpassed our goals in so many areas. We are already focused on meeting Governor Cuomo's challenge to make the 2017 Fair even greater. We will no doubt meet that challenge, and I invite every New Yorker to come to the Fair next year to enjoy the results.”
Phase Two Task Force Public Input Meeting
Governor Cuomo recently appointed a task force to examine possibilities for a second round of investment in the Fairgrounds of up to $50 million. To help shape future improvements, the task force will hold a public input meeting on December 6 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Art and Home Center at the Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The Task Force is also inviting New Yorkers to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The task force’s report is due in December to the Governor, who will then decide which projects to include in his 2017-2018 State Budget.
The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 24 to September 4, 2017. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "FIND YOUR GREAT," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.
The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr.com/photos/nysfair.