Pueblo could be the next home of the National Championship Air Races

· Jan. 22, 2024, 4:00 am
Reno Air Racing Association

Fast-flying planes racing for first place could be coming to Pueblo soon. The city is one of six vying to host the National Championship Air Races.

The event has taken place for 60 years in Reno, Nevada, but the airport there can't accommodate it anymore.

Pueblo put their name in the hat because the airport there could be a good match for the event.  Mayor Nick Gradisar said the races could be a tourist attraction in between the state fair which takes place in late August and the Chili Fest in late September. 

“We think it would be a big economic boost,” Gradisar said. “I think their economic impact statement said that they get 150,000 visitors a year to this… from all over the country.” 

According to the Reno Air Racing Association, the event brings in more than $100 million annually.

Tony Logoteta with the association said the event is the only one in the world to feature seven competitions different styles of air racing, both closed-course contests and drag racing, in which pilots race for the fastest take-off and landing  

“It’s wingtip to wingtip,” said Logoteta. “So this isn’t time trials or anything. This is NASCAR in the sky but faster.”

Logoteta said the organization has finished in-person assessments of the finalist cities. He said they’ll announce the top two or three candidates in January with a final decision to come in March 2024. 

Other cities in the running include Roswell, New Mexico, Casper, Wyoming and Buckeye, Arizona.

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