MT. COMFORT — The Indianapolis Air Show is grounded for good.
Organizers announced Friday that after 16 years, they are retiring the event that once drew upwards of 100,000 spectators to Hancock County’s regional airport on Mt. Comfort Road.
Friday, executive committee chairman Bob Duncan called the circumstances leading to the event’s demise “the perfect storm.” He cited falling attendance in recent years, as well as declining donations and sponsorships upon which the event depended.
As of Friday morning, the home page of Indianapolis Air Show’s website still proudly announced the dates of the 2014 air show. But beneath that banner was a message from the event’s executive committee, which declared that “current circumstances indicate that it is impractical to produce future air shows.”
The air show cost about $600,000 to put on, Duncan said, and the show had basically been breaking even for several years despite being labeled as a charity event with proceeds benefiting the Central Indiana Community Foundation.
The air show asked CICF to direct its donation to Riley Children’s Hospital, and volunteers and organizers alike operated under the mantra that they did it all for the kids, Duncan said.
“At the end of the day, we did it for the kids, but cash-wise, it wasn’t being all that successful,” he said. “We never failed to pay our bills or any of that stuff, but we just didn’t have enough to give to the hospital. When you think about all the work, effort and risk, and not be able to achieve the revenues you need, it was a disincentive to a lot of folks who really put their heart and soul into it.”