Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:24 PM
For the first time in its nearly 50-year history the Cleveland Air Show has been grounded.
Air show officials announced the 2013 show will be cancelled due to military cuts associated with sequestration that took effect March 1.
The Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds alternateyears participating in the Cleveland show. This year was to be the Thunderbirds’ turn.
Kim Dell, a spokesperson for the airshow, says it only recently became clear that it would have to be cancelled.
“We were waiting to see how sequestration was going to shake out,” she said. “And then once we started to see confirmation on cancellations of the military participation, it became very clear to us the action the board would need to take.”
The airshow attracts 60,000 to 100,000 spectators each year to Burke lakefront Airport.
A 2011 analysis puts the airshow’s contribution to Cleveland’s economy at about $7 million annually. That includes ticket sales at Burke, hotel accommodations, car rentals, restaurant sales and other tourism measures.
Dell says planning for the 2014 show has begun.
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