WASHINGTON - "The Greatest Show on Earth" is coming to an end!
After 146 years - which makes it older than baseball - the final curtain is coming down on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Tickets sales and rising expenses were the reasons Stephen Payne, vice president of communications at Feld Entertainment, the company that owns the circus, gave us as to why the production is ending.
"What we did - we looked back at 2016 and ahead at 2017 and realized that the expense of putting on the circus - coupled with flat or declining ticket sales - the business model wasn't sustainable anymore." Payne said. Changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups also contributed to its demise. The Circus retired its elephants in 2016.
He said they made the announcement in January to give fans enough time to plan for their final shows.
The last show ever will be this May in New York. The final performances in the D.C. area take place in mid-April and in the Baltimore area in late April.
"We’re so grateful for the support of the fans," Payne said. "Since we made this announce, hundreds of thousands of fans have come out to see the circus one last time."
Payne said they are working on finding new homes for the animals and new opportunities for the performers and crew members.
Washington, DC | March 30, 2017 - April 02, 2017
Fairfax, VA | April 07, 2017 - April 16, 2017
Baltimore, MD | April 20, 2017 - April 30, 2017
Charleston, WV | May 04, 2017 - May 07, 2017
Uniondale, NY | May 12, 2017 - May 21, 2017
TICKET INFO: http://www.ringling.com/tickets-schedules/