Three Finalists Selected As Potential Air Races Host


The Reno Air Racing Association has narrowed the field of contenders for the new host city of National Championship Air Races to Casper, Wyoming; Pueblo, Colorado; and Roswell, New Mexico. The 2023 races were the last to be held in Reno and RARA accepted applications for a new venue. A total of 38 places showed interest in hosting the event and six were allowed to submit detailed bids before RARA trimmed the roster in half for the final stretch. “There were many, many elements to consider, and we’d like to extend our sincere thanks to all the entrants who put in the time and effort to submit their carefully thought-out proposals,” said Fred Telling, CEO and chairman of the board for the Reno Air Racing Association.

The prize for the winning bid is substantial. The races generate tens of millions of dollars in economic benefits, but the host community also needs an unusual set of amenities to successfully hold the races. “[Myriad] factors were taken into account, including the ability of venues to host large crowds, handle hundreds of aircraft and support the large race course needed for the event,” RARA said in a news release. The races will skip a year and RARA will hold a big airshow in Reno this year. The new venue will host its first races in 2025. 

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


    • Casper definitely has the open spaces for the race course, but the wind can be an issue. Lived there for a couple years and I don’t remember many days when the wind wasn’t blowing.

  1. I like how the trail that the airplane leaves in the Roswell logo looks like the edge of a flying saucer. It’s the little things.

  2. Casper would be a dream come true. And the winds don’t blow in September but the snow can sometimes fly. I would probably go every year since it would be a short distance from my Cody home.

  3. What all three of these lack is the plentiful airline service that was available to Reno. Even so, Pueblo is the clear winner in that regard at least.

  4. PUB has Doss aviation which instructs non aviation Air Force officers and qualifies them to go on to Air Force flight school. During the week it’s like a bee hive of Katana’s in the pattern and surrounding areas. Does that mean their flight training will shut down for a week of the races?

  5. Those are all lousy choices. Small towns, nothing to do in them, inadequate hotel facilities. They picked the worst 3. There’s only two that would be decent. Thermal, just south of Palm Springs, and Buckeye AZ, just outside Phoenix. The rest of them are crap.

    • Are you not familiar with Casper? World class fly fishing right in town, even better fishing just 20 minutes out of town, with float trips and guides available. Hiking and camping opportunities, The Big Horn Mountains, Devils Tower, Mt Rushmore, the Badlands all just a few hours drive (or a quick flight). Airline service through Denver and SLC, Denver is only a 4-hour drive. All in all, plenty to do or see outside of the air races, and plenty of room for the races themselves.

  6. Darin, race fans of cars and planes probably aren’t into outdoor activities in which you actually burn calories. Sitting at a one armed bandit, sipping alcoholic beverages is more desirable than your suggestions. Sarcasm intended.