July 17, 2015

Governor Cuomo Announces Syracuse Nationals Classic Car Show Signs Five Year Extension to Remain at New York State Fairgrounds

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Syracuse Nationals...

Governor Attends Opening Day of 2015 Syracuse Nationals Classic Car Show

Governor Announces New “I LOVE NY” State Fair License Plate to Debut at this Year’s Fair, Support New York State Tourism

State Investing $50 Million to Reimagine Fairgrounds as Year-Round Destination


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that one of the nation’s largest classic automobile shows, the Syracuse Nationals, has signed an agreement to remain at the New York State Fairgrounds through 2019. The Governor announced the contract extension while attending opening day of the 2015 Nationals in Syracuse, where thousands of classic cars and trucks were on display throughout the 375-acre Fairgrounds. The Governor additionally announced the debut of the “I LOVE NY” State Fair license plate, a new custom license plate available at the start of this summer’s State Fair on August 27.

“I’m proud that the New York State Fairgrounds will be home to the Syracuse Nationals Car Show for another five years,” Governor Cuomo said. “This agreement will keep one of upstate’s biggest attractions right here in Central New York and is yet another step in raising the profile of the region’s growing tourism industry.”



Today’s agreement and enhanced focus on the Fairgrounds complement a $50 million State investment announced by Governor Cuomo in the 2015-16 Budget to reimagine the fairgrounds as a year-round tourism destination. The investment will be aligned with Onondaga County’s vision for redevelopment of the area, and will strengthen the success of the Great New York State Fair – which last year, experienced the largest one-year increase in attendance, set two daily attendance records, and set a record for gross sales and revenues.


Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Today’s announcements are great news, and they are just the beginning. Governor Cuomo’s $50 million investment in the Fairgrounds as a year round business, combined with the long-term commitment of the Syracuse Nationals to grow here, is proof of the Fair’s potential to make a major impact on the economy of the region and state. As we position ourselves as a year-round tourist destination, it’s equally important that people know about us from Plattsburgh to Long Island. Our new Fair license plate will be a traveling billboard for the great things we do, and the great things to come.”


Syracuse National Classic Car Show


For the last 15 years, the Syracuse Nationals Classic Car Show has filled the Fairgrounds with more than 8,000 classic cars and trucks to bring more visitors and spending to Central New York. The three-day event welcomed more than 88,000 in 2014, during which the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the Syracuse Nationals brought $13 million into the local economy. The five year rental agreement between the show’s owner, Right Coast Association, and the Fairgrounds is worth $693,902.



The Syracuse Nationals attracts celebrities from across the automotive world, such as race car artist Kenny Youngblood, and actress Candy Clark, who starred as Debbie Dunham in the hit film “American Graffiti.” 


The Syracuse Nationals is the largest event held on the grounds other than the State Fair. For three days each summer, the buildings and streets within the Fairgrounds are filled with hundreds of classic vehicles, food, art, and equipment vendors. The car show features 15 bands and DJs in addition to a charity auction of original automotive artwork; last year, it raised more than $98,000. One-day adult admission tickets to the Syracuse Nationals cost $18. Tickets for children ages 6 to 12 are $8. Children 5 and under receive free admission. Parking is free at the event. More information is available here.


“We are excited about the changes going on at the Fairgrounds and in the area, and the Fair has been a great partner in helping us grow the Syracuse Nationals. That’s why we signed this long-term agreement. We have confidence in the direction the Fairgrounds is going in and we believe we will be able to grow together,” said Rob O’Connor, of Right Coast, Inc., owner and promoter of the Syracuse Nationals.


“The Syracuse Nationals are a summer tradition in Central New York, and we are excited that they have agreed to return to the Fair Grounds for several more years,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO and co-chair of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council. “This is one of Syracuse’s largest events and this new agreement provides the Central New York community significant economic benefit. Through world-class events like the Syracuse Nationals, partners like Visit Syracuse are able to showcase the exceptional community and amenities that are unique to Central New York.”


I LOVE NY State Fair License Plate


The first-ever I LOVE NY State Fair license plate will premiere at this year’s Great New York State Fair, which begins Thursday, August 27 and runs through Monday, September 7. A high-resolution image of the specialty license plate is available here.


Beginning August 27, New York motorists can place an order for the ‘I LOVE NY’ State Fair license plate online at dmv.ny.gov or by visiting a DMV office or the DMV exhibit at the Fairgrounds. The initial cost of a standard plate is $43.75, or $75 if a customer wants a personalized plate. Fifteen dollars of the annual renewal fee goes to the New York State Department of Economic Development for use in tourism marketing.


In addition to an ‘I Love NY’ license plate, the DMV also offers nine ‘I Love NY’ Adventure custom plates for passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as motorcycles. Each plate features designs that include hunting, fishing, or parks insignia. The Adventure plates are available to anyone holding a valid Department of Environmental Conservation sporting license or Parks Empire Passport. For information about the Adventure series and other custom plates offered by DMV, click here.


DMV Deputy Commissioner Tim Lennon said, “We anticipate that this new license plate will be well received by New Yorkers who want to show their appreciation for this annual showcase event. It artistically captures many of the wonderful aspects of New York’s nationally-recognized State Fair.”


Empire State Development Executive Director of Tourism Gavin Landry said, “This new license plate celebrates the excitement of the Great New York State Fair. It’s a perfect addition to the I LOVE NY license plate series and pays tribute to 174 years of state fair enjoyment.”

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

NYC Press Office: 212.681.4640

Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418