The circus has been with us for more than 100 years. The spectacle of clowns, elephants, trapeze artists and other exotic animals was something that many have seen at least once in our lifetimes. The biggest circus troupe is Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus which was billed as “The Greatest Show On Earth” for what seems like forever. That circus has been performing for more than 98 years (since 1919) across the country first as a traveling circus and then as it gained in popularity, sold out stadiums across the country. Sadly to say, the show will not go on.
Today, the circus announced that they will be closing up shop and the last performance will be in May 2017. Field Entertainment, which has owned the circus for the last 50 years cites high costs of upkeep and low ticket sales as the reason for closing the circus.
“After much evaluation and deliberation, my family and I have made the difficult business decision that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will hold its final performances in May of this year. Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop. This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.”
Field Entertainment isn’t completely going out of business. They still host many life events, including Disney On Ice, Monster Jam, Marvel Universe Live and Disney Universe Live. However, the circus will be closing down. In recent years, many animal rights activists have shed light on the reported animal abuse that goes on at the circus, which led to investigations by the government, fines, settlements, and the eventual retiring of elephants from their shows.
Fans of the circus will have a few performances before they completely shut down. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME Tour will conclude at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI on May 7, 2017. The final circus performance for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Out Of This World Tour will conclude May 21, 2017. At the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY.