Air Show attendance down 25 percent: Here’s why

Heavy recent rain forces parking out to ‘distant lots’

An estimated 49,000 people attended the 45th annual Vectren Dayton Air Show this weekend.

That number is down from last year’s attendance, which was closer to about 62,000. The show was forced this year to shift parking away to “distant lots,” pushing attendance down some 25 percent, the show said Monday.

“The 2019 show lineup was great,” Scott Buchanan, chairman of the event’s board of trustees, said in the show’s statement. “We were very pleased with the number of people that attended and the show quality.”

The attendance totals came in lower even as Buchanan said Saturday that he thought the show might have welcomed a "record crowd for the day."


“The show’s normal parking lots were unusable due to heavy rains in recent weeks,” the show said in a release. “Patrons tend to avoid shows with shuttling because entry and exit can take longer especially if they arrive close to show time.”

Instead of using its usual lots just outside the air show’s gates, the event had to relocate parking to paved lots because of recent and frequent rain. Guests were shuttled on more than 60 buses from the former Emery/UPS Freight Facility north of the airport on Old Springfield Road.

Typically, the show shuttles around 30 percent of its guests from another location, Buchanan said. Transporting all guests proved pricier, though officials could not provide a cost estimate as of Monday morning.

Plans are already underway for the 2020 show, expected to feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

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