6 Cities Competing to Host Next National Championship Air Races

Number of candidates submitting proposals gives fans hope that the event has a bright future.

The Reno Air Racing Association named cities that are vying to host the National Championship Air Races. [Courtesy: RARA]

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) has moved closer to finding a new home for its signature event, the annual National Championship Air Races. The group said it is reviewing proposals from six cities competing to host the races in 2025.

The RARA circulated a formal request for proposal earlier this year following its announcement that 2023 would be the final year for the races at Reno Stead Airport (KRTS) in Nevada. The responding cities are: Buckeye, Arizona; Casper, Wyoming; Pueblo, Colorado; Roswell, New Mexico; Thermal, California; and Wendover, Utah.

Officials from those cities submitted more than 1,500 pages of documents supporting their case for why each should be the next host, the RARA said.

“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 RARA. “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.”

Often referred to as the Reno Air Races or simply Reno, the event began in 1964 at nearby Sky Ranch and moved to Reno Stead in 1966. Over time it developed into a singular motorsports gathering—a festival, really, celebrating high performance and camaraderie within the aviation community. It has also become a major economic boost for the local tourism industry.

“In the past 10 years alone, the event has attracted more than 1 million visitors to the region, generated more than $750 million for the economy, and contributed significant aviation related education and outreach to schools and nonprofits all around the area,” the RARA said.

The committee researching the proposals includes RARA personnel specializing in operations, safety, security, business development, and more. Representatives from the race classes are also “an integral part of the selection process,” according to the organization. The selection committee is vetting the proposals and plans to make site visits later this year. The RARA said it expects to announce a decision early next year.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter