Announcement spells end for Nevada venue as host of National Championship
An announcement on 9 March by the Reno Air Racing Association confirmed that the 2023 National Championship Air Races, taking place from 13-17 September, will be the last to be held at Reno-Stead Airport, Nevada.
In a statement, the association said, “While we knew this day might come, we had hoped it wouldn’t come so soon. Citing the region’s significant growth amongst other concerns, the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority has made the decision to sunset the event. For so many around the world, Reno has become synonymous with air racing and it is hard to imagine the National Championship Air Races gracing any other skies than those in the Sierra Nevada. However, we are confident the event will continue. In fact, we are currently exploring several other possible locations to host the event in the future but it starts with making this year’s event the biggest and most successful it can be. In essence, the future of the National Championship Air Races starts now.”
It added that “RTAA [the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority]’s concerns around challenging economic conditions, rapid area development, public safety and the impact on the Reno-Stead Airport and its surrounding areas” were “some of the contributing factors” behind the decision.
The National Championship Air Races first took place at Reno in 1964. The meeting has only missed one complete year since, 2020’s edition being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though only the heats were run in 2001 due to the 11 September terror attacks. In recent times, the Nevada airport has been the sole location for such events, others having fallen by the wayside. It will therefore be interesting to see which venue finds favour when it comes to the continuation of the championship beyond 2023.