Year-to-Date Non-Fair Event Attendance Increased as a Result of the Governor's Historic Investment in Improving and Expanding the Fairgrounds
Events Boost Tourism and Complement "Central NY Rising" - the Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that estimated attendance at non-Fair events hosted at the New York State Fairgrounds in 2017 has already exceeded the attendance for all of 2016. Non-Fair events, including an estimated 90,000 who attended the Syracuse Nationals classic car show this past weekend and two popular horse shows this month, have brought total attendance year-to-date to 560,929 - already above the 529,000 attendance for all of 2016. Attendance through the first six months of 2017 is also up 42 percent compared to the first six months of last year. As a direct result of the Governor's historic $50 million transformation plan, which complements Central NY Rising, the region's successful Upstate Revitalization Plan - a number of new events committed to the Fairgrounds this year to offer more entertainment year-round.
"Investments in the Fair and in Central New York have already resulted in a stronger regional economy and record-breaking attendance, and these new numbers show the draw these newly improved fairgrounds can be year round," Governor Cuomo said. "The modernization and transformation that has taken place at the fairgrounds has New York on track for the most successful off-season in history, and I look forward to continuing this momentum straight through the 13-day run at the Fair this summer."
A number of event organizers have either expanded their events as a result of investments in improving the Fair - drawing additional crowds, or added brand new events at the Fairgrounds. The Chinese Lantern Festival, Syracuse SnowCross, Kawasaki Syracuse StadiumCross, the Syracuse Man Show, Jurassic Quest, and the Salt City BBQ are among the new events that have taken place on the Fairgrounds this year. Nearly 140 events, from horse shows to craft beverage industry events, are booked for 2017.
The return of the Syracuse Nationals to the Fairgrounds this past weekend attracted an estimated 90,000 car enthusiasts to Central New York, supporting the nearly double year-to-date non-fair attendance for 2017.
The Governor's $50 million transformation of the Fairgrounds in 2016 included a brand new Main Gate, the expanded Midway area, and the brand new 313-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. It also included new flexible park space and various parking and pedestrian safety improvements. The improvements better positioned the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation.
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, "Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, the Fair has been modernized and expanded to offer family fun for everyone year-round, and by attracting more events and shows during the off-season than ever before, Central New York is welcoming more visitors to experience all that the Great New York State Fair has to offer. I encourage everyone from across the state to come to Onondaga County and enjoy the fun and excitement for themselves at one of the many events taking place this year."
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "We were thrilled to host the Syracuse Nationals Car Show again this year, one of the largest events in Central New York, in addition to the dozens of other new events that have signed on to the Fairgrounds. The Governor's unprecedented investment is helping transform the 375-acre property into a top-notch facility is enhancing the experience of every visitor and providing a boost to the Central New York economy."
Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, "We couldn't be more excited about all of the additional events we've been able to book at the Fairgrounds as more and more organizers understand the great opportunity they have with hosting an event here. The increase in attendance puts us well on track to doubling the attendance for non-Fair events last year and we're only half way through the year."
A full calendar of year-round events can be found on the Great New York State Fair's website at https://nysfair.ny.gov/entertainment/events-calendar .
About the Great New York State Fair
The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 23 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 us on Facebook , follow @NYSFair on Twitter and Snapchat at NYSFair, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr.com/photos/nysfair . Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at firstname.lastname@example.org .