Reno, Nev. – The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) has released preliminary results for the 2015 National Championship Air Races and is projecting a profit of over $100,000. Results will be finalized at year-end. The original budget for 2015 called for a $630,000 loss, so the projected profit is very good news for the event.

Over 150,000 attended this year’s event with pilots racing in six classes, an airshow featuring Tora Tora Tora!, a reenactment of the events of Pearl Harbor, and many other displays including static aircraft and the expanded Drone Zone.

Mike Crowell was named president and CEO by the RARA board of directors in February of 2015, bringing to the organization his extensive sales, marketing and operations background with Coca-Cola where he managed bottling facilities in the United States, Middle East and Asia. Crowell credits the work of the board, staff and many volunteers for helping bring the RARA operational costs into control this year in the interest of sustaining this event that provides over $70 million in economic impact to the community.

“The STIHL National Championship Air Races is not only the fastest motor sport in the world and an event that is followed by aviation enthusiasts from around the world, but it’s a treasure for our community,” said Crowell. “Our goal for this year was to look at this event like a business and operate in such a way that would ensure it is around for many years to come. We had to make some tough decisions to get our costs in line, but with the support of our board, staff, event chairs and dedicated volunteers, we were able to turn a budgeted $630,000 loss for the year into a $100,000 projected profit, which is exactly what we needed to do.”

The 2015 event was a success in many other ways as well: there was tremendous support from sponsors, the weather was great, it was a safe event with no incidents and the many facets of the event drew people of all ages, young and old, and from literally every corner of the world.

Veteran Robert “Hoot” Gibson capped off the successful event by winning the coveted Unlimited Gold Race in Strega, unseating six-time winner, Steve Hinton, in Voodoo.

“To say we’re very pleased with the preliminary results of the 2015 National Championship Air Races is an understatement,” said John Agather, chairman of the RARA board of directors. “We’re already planning for a great event next year and are excited to have the Blue Angels returning in 2016.”

The 53rd National Championship Air Races will be held September 14-18, 2016. Tickets will go on sale after the first of the year.

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About the STIHL National Championship Air Races:

Held every September just north of Reno, the STIHL National Championship Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. The 2015 event attracted more than 150,000 spectators and is expected to have generated more than $70 million for the region’s economy. The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civil flight demonstrations. For more information on the STIHL National Championship Air Races, to obtain media credentials, volunteer or purchase tickets, visit Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Media Contact:
Valerie Glenn
The Glenn Group
[email protected]