A Hawker Sea Fury in flight at Reno Stead Airport on Wednesday morning.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.
In addition to thousands of spectators and 30 officials from the Federal Aviation Administration, there were 40 representatives of a half dozen cities seeking to be the new home of the Reno Air Races scattered among the crowd.
Minden resident and director on the Reno Air Race Association Board, Bobbi Thompson said that while it is the last race in Reno, there’s a lot of interest from other cities.
“It’s very exciting,” she said on Wednesday. “We had 38 people respond to the request for proposal and we’re down to the final six.”
While Thompson would not say which cities are interested in the air races, she said they are checking out the last week of air racing in Reno.
“Forty people from those cities are here this week watching, looking, learning,” she said on Wednesday.
By mid October, the board could winnow the total down to three finalists before doing site visits.
“They’re very excited,” she said. “The governors are calling us. The mayors are calling us. These cities are excited $110 million impact to the local community. We’re going to have a new home, soon.”
Thompson said that she was sorry to see the races move out of Reno.
“I think it’s a huge loss to this community,” she said. “As you travel worldwide, if you say ‘Reno’ they go ‘air races.’ They are part of the Northern Nevada fabric and now it won’t be, which is extremely sad.
Thompson said record crowds are expected at the air races this week, which have been held in Stead since 1964.
“We’ll have a wonderful exciting final race in Reno, and then we’ll be announcing our new home before too long, and get that going,” she said.
Qualifiers were Wednesday morning for all classes. The races wrap up for the last time in the Biggest Little City on Sunday.
For more information about tickets and parking, visit airrace.org