July 15, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces the Return of the Syracuse Nationals Classic Car Show to the New York State Fairgrounds

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the return of the Syracuse Nationals Classic Car Show to the New York State Fairgrounds this weekend, July 15 through July 17. With thousands of classic cars, vendors and car enthusiasts, the Syracuse Nationals is one of the nation’s largest classic automobile shows. Last year, the three-day event brought more than 90,000 visitors and $13 million in visitor spending to the Central New York economy to Central New York.

“The New York State Fair has delighted New Yorkers for over a century, and the $50 million transformation will ensure the Fairgrounds continues to attract top-notch attractions and visitors for years to come,” said Governor Cuomo. “The Syracuse Nationals Classic Car Show will showcase major improvements to the Fairgrounds, and will draw thousands of classic car enthusiasts, like myself, to the region. I urge all visitors to stay a little longer to experience all that Central New York has to offer.”

The arrival of the Nationals will be met with the opening of major components of Governor Cuomo’s $50 million transformation plan for the Great New York State Fairgrounds. The improvements include a brand new Main Gate, the newly expanded Midway area, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We are thrilled to host the Syracuse Nationals Car Show again this year, one of the largest events in Central New York and truly a highlight of the summer. As tens of thousands of auto enthusiasts roll into the fairgrounds this weekend, we look forward to showcasing all the exciting upgrades happening there. This unprecedented investment is helping transform the 365-acre property into a top-notch facility, and these changes will enhance the experience of every visitor, not just fairgoers.”

Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “We’re excited to welcome the Syracuse Nationals back to the Fairgrounds and debut all of our new improvements just in time for the return of this premier classic car show that draws more than 90,000 people. With our new RV park and an expanded Midway, there’s even more room to show off these awesome classic cars, and ensure our visitors are being provided fantastic amenities they didn’t have in previous years.”

Department of Motor Vehicles Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said, “DMV is proud not only to provide customer service at the Syracuse Nationals, one of the greatest attractions in Central New York, but to give New Yorkers the opportunity to show their pride in the state with custom plates, as well as vintage and historical plates. We look forward to kicking off another exciting event and personally interacting with visitors from across New York State and beyond over the weekend that is sure to be one to remember.”

Last year, Governor Cuomo announced a five-year contract extension with the Syracuse Nationals, ensuring the world-class auto show would remain in Central New York at the New York State Fairgrounds through 2019, raising the profile of the region’s growing tourism industry. More information is available here.

The New York State Fairgrounds

The 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is currently undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. Governor Cuomo’s $50 million plan revitalizes the grounds in many ways, improving the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and providing greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include the dramatic new Main Gate, the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900, a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever and improves the visitor experience with cell phone charging stations and resting areas, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. It also includes new flexible park space and various parking and pedestrian safety improvements. The improvements will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation. More information on the revitalization is available here and renderings can be viewed here.

Syracuse Nationals Classic Car Show

During the 17th annual Syracuse Nationals event, more than 8,000 beautiful and unique classic cars from the U.S. and Canada converge on the beautiful New York State Fairgrounds over three days, making it the largest event held on the grounds other than the Great New York State Fair. The swap meet, car corral, women’s world, mini-nationals, live music, 400 vendors, tech seminars, gasoline alley, and “old skool roundup” are just a few of the things to do and see at the show. The Syracuse Nationals even attracts celebrities from across the automotive world, making the event fun for the whole family. More information is available here.

Rob O’Connor of Right Coast, Inc., Owner and Promoter of the Syracuse Nationals, said, “We are excited to be back at the Fairgrounds again for our 17th annual classic car show. The Fair has been a great partner over the years and the changes that have occurred on the Fairgrounds are incredible. They’ll not only improve the visitor experience but also provide us the tremendous opportunity to grow the Syracuse Nationals event in the future.”

Department of Motor Vehicles Participation

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles will return to the Fairgrounds to provide customer service transactions and promote vintage and historical plates. The Department of Motor Vehicles exhibit in the Center of Progress building will also offer vision tests, and the opportunity to book reservations to visit a local office, enroll in the organ donation program, and renew a registration or driver license. Car enthusiasts can even order a custom license plate at the booth. Many of these services are part of the Department of Motor Vehicles Customer Service Initiative, an agency-wide directive by Governor Cuomo in 2012 meant to streamline and increase the efficiency of DMV services.

For the first time, DMV will also give away a new poster (while supplies last) to guests that showcases New York’s vintage plates through the years. The 11-by-17-inch poster is a visual representation of the evolution of New York State license plates, featuring the first owner-provided plates in 1901 to the red, white, and blue “Liberty” plates of 1986 and beyond. In addition, a limited number of commemorative Syracuse Nationals exhibit plates will be available for visitors to the Department of Motor Vehicles exhibit.

Classic car enthusiasts will have the opportunity to learn more about outfitting their rides with vintage and historical plates. Vintage plates are the original plates issued by New York State in the year the vehicle was manufactured. Any motor vehicle manufactured prior to 1991 and that is used as a collector's item or exhibition piece only, and not for daily transportation, may be registered with vintage plates. Historical plates are new plates issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to a vehicle that was manufactured more than 25 years before the current calendar year and that is used only as a collector’s item or exhibition piece, and not for daily transportation. More information on vintage and historical plates is available here and here

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Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office