Six Cities Vie for Air Racing’s New Home


With the completion of the 2023 Reno Air Races, nearly six decades of racing in the Nevada desert came to an end last month, but work progresses in finding a new home. According to the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA), six cities have responded to a request for proposals to continue Reno-style air racing. They are Casper, Wyoming, Buckeye, Arizona, Pueblo, Colorado, Roswell, New Mexico, Thermal, California, and Wendover, Utah.

“Seeing the interest to host the National Championship Air Races at each of these unique venues gives me great hope for the future of air racing,” said Fred Telling, CEO and chairman of the board for the Reno Air Racing Association. “We’re looking for our next home, somewhere we can celebrate many more anniversaries, so we’ve assembled an expert committee that is putting an extreme amount of care and diligence into choosing our next location.”

According to RARA, “The committee researching the bid submissions is made up of RARA personnel from all areas, including operations, safety, security, business development and more. The race classes are also represented in the group and will continue to be an integral part of the selection process. At this point, the selection committee is thoroughly vetting the different proposals and will conduct site visits later this year. There are numerous factors to consider, but a few of the critical requirements for the event include considerable open land available for the racecourses, suitable runways, ramp and hangar space, administrative and security facilities, as well as proximity to hotels, commercial airports and restaurants.”

“We only want to go through this process once and because of that, we’re going to make sure our next location is the best fit for the future of the air races,” said Terry Matter, board member and chairman of the selection committee. “Each of the bidders’ proposals were thoroughly prepared and completely addressed the RARA RFP requirements. We are so grateful for their initial attendance at the bidders’ conferences and at NCAR in September, and for the time and effort each one of them put into their proposal preparation. It is very exciting to know that our new home will be in one of these great cities. Soon our Site Selection Committee will visit these locations to further evaluate their ability to be the future host of the National Championship Air Races.”


  1. There could be a series races at all six venues, at five of the locations six to eight weeks apart, in a points accumulation manner to qualify for a championship race at the end of the season at the sixth venue.

  2. The air racers are amateurs and don’t have the resources (funds and time) to race full time. This is not Formula 1 or NASCAR.

    • The original automotive racers were amateurs, as well. The resources will be there via sponsors and broadcast rights revenues if this type of air race series were to be developed. This would be right up Red Bull’s alley!

  3. Does anyone on the Kitplanes staff have insight into these venues? It’d be cool to hear about how they each stack up according to the RARA requirements.

  4. Reno was a two fold advantageous place for the race. They had the airport north of town: an excellent physical location for the race,

    The second fold, which non of the current locations in the running have: Reno had thousands of nearby hotel rooms available for fans and competitors.

    • Agreed on both points.
      Another advantage they had was Reno as a destination for many visitors, with nearby Tahoe and the relatively large ‘entertainment’ infrastructure while not racing. The proximity to large population bases didn’t hurt, many of us drove less than 500 miles to attend. None of the six alternatives mentioned will have these advantages.
      I expect the next site chosen will primarily attract die-hard race fans and thus not require the thousands of hotel rooms, certainly not in the beginning.
      Of more concern is the issue of how many race plane owners will want to make the trek without bigger purses or sponsorship? The Unlimiteds are the centerpiece of the whole event in my view, and we’ve seen the decline these last few years….


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