The 2020 STIHL National Championship Air Races have been canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Reno Air Racing Association announced on Friday. The annual event was originally expected to take place Sept. 16-20 in Reno, Nevada. The association reports that the Air Races host nearly 70,000 attendees and represent an economic impact of over $100 million in the Reno-Tahoe region annually.
“It’s difficult to capture the sadness we feel for our September Family who we won’t have the chance to see this year,” said Reno Air Racing Association CEO Fred Telling. “However, we need to approach this with safety for all involved as our highest priority. … With the June 24th announcement that the state of Nevada will remain under Phase Two guidelines for the foreseeable future we cannot feasibly move forward with planning our event.”
The nonprofit Reno Air Racing Association has seen an 80 percent decrease in revenue from March to June 2020 compared to the same time period last year. According to the association, tickets purchased for the 2020 Air Races can be rolled over to the 2021 event or refunded, or the ticket price can be donated to the organization. Next year’s air races are scheduled for Sept. 15–19, 2021.