Featured image: Tigers on stage at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Copyright ©2014, Feld Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission from Feld Entertainment.)
Last night, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced that the Greatest Show on Earth is closing forever in May after a 146-year run. The closing is related to several factors: declining ticket sales, higher operating costs, changing audience tastes, and opposition from animal rights groups.
In a statement on the home page of the circus’ website, Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment and circus producer Kenneth Feld said that this decision was tough. “The circus and its people have continually been a source of inspiration and joy to my family and me, which is why this was such a tough business decision to make,” he said. “The decision was even more difficult because of the amazing fans that have become part of our extended circus family over the years, and we are extremely grateful to the millions of families who have made Ringling Bros. part of their lives for generations. We know Ringling Bros. isn’t only our family business, but also your family tradition.”
All remaining shows are on the East Coast (view full schedule and buy tickets). Two shows with different themes are running concurrently. “Out Of This World,” an adventure with the Circus Space Fleet, and the more traditional “Circus XTREME.” The last performance of “Circus XTREME” is May 7 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, and “Out Of This World” ends on May 21 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s non-profit Center for Elephant Conservation will continue operating after the circus closes.
Kristen Michelle Wilson, the ringmaster for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Copyright ©2014, Feld Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission from Feld Entertainment.)