DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Officials of the Vectren Dayton Air Show announced Wednesday, April 22, that it is postponing the 2020 show until later this summer, having originally been scheduled for June 27 to June 28.
Show officials said in the press release that they are in close contact with the governor’s office, military, performers and other key organizations to determine the best weekend to reschedule the 2020 show.
Micheal Emoff, immediate past chair for the air show, said the timing will be tricky. The date can’t be too early into the re-opening of the state and large events.
“People would be less likely to go out early on in the come-back and that would affect us as far as having lower attendance,” Emoff said.
That attendance an issue in recent years with numbers fluctuating. There were an estimated 44,000 guests in 2017. That number went up to 62,000 in 2019 then back down to 49,000 in 2019.
Teams like the Blue Angels set to headline are grounded across the country.
“Significant army acts have been postponed so we would not have been able to have a jet team which would have again caused a lower outcome,” Emoff said.
Locking in a jet team is the goal but the air show will have to work around dates performers have already booked.
“(A) date that is far enough out that we’re not going to get the first wave of the comeback of people into the market that’s crowded. And secondly, we’re going to look for a date where we can get a produce a show that we’re known for,” Emoff said.
In a statement, Gil Turner, Interim Director of Aviation for the City of Dayton, said “The airport is in full agreement that the safety of our guest, volunteers and performers is our first and foremost priority. We totally support the postponement of the Air Show until later this summer. The health and well-being of all those involved is priority.”
Emoff said many shows are cancelled all together. They think they have a good shot at having top notch acts for a great show
When the show returns, there will be several health precautions. Three hundred sanitizing stations will be spread across the grounds. There will be six feet of spacing between seating areas and increased sanitation of surfaces.
“When people say, ‘yeah, I don’t know if we should be around people’, we need to make that not be a problem,” Emoff said.
He hopes the show will help folks get back into a new normal.
“We would like to have our show be kind of a grand re-opening of Dayton. As I say that, an airplane is flying over my head so that’s a good sign,” Emoff said.
Once a decision on a date is made, a public announcement will be made and posted on the show’s website, www.daytonairshow.com.
Any tickets or specialty seating that has already been purchased for the 2020 show will be honored on the rescheduled dates.