America’s iconic Ringling Bros circus closes doors after 146 years
The United States’ famous Ringling Bros circus is closing down, producer Feld Entertainment announced on Sunday, ending a 146-year run amid rising costs and falling ticket sales.
The circus will hold its final performances in May 2017, Kenneth Feld, Chairman of Feld Entertainment, the circus producer, said in an online statement.
Feld attributed the decision to fewer ticket sales, particularly “following the transition of the elephants off the road,” as well as high operating costs.
The American circus, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, has said it will cease performances after 146 years because of declining tickets sales and high operating costs.
“After much evaluation and deliberation, my family and I have made the difficult business decision that Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey will hold its final performances in May,” he said.
In May last year, the circus retired its elephant act, years after legal action by activists. It admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to a six-figure fine several years before ending the elephant performances.
The circus went by the slogan “The greatest show on earth”, a catchphrase that was so ubiquitous it was employed for the title of the 1952 Cecil B DeMille best picture Oscar-winning film starring Charlton Heston and Betty Hutton.
The circus will end it long run with performances in Providence on 7 May and in Uniondale, New York, on 21 May.
Other Feld productions, including Marvel Universe LIVE!, Monster Jam, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!, will continue, and the company said it will continue to develop new shows.
Employees were told of the decision to close down following performances on Saturday in Florida.