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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

National Championship Air Races to take off in Roswell in 2025

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ROSWELL — The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) has announced that Roswell will be the new home of the world-renowned National Championship Air Races (NCAR).

Following a lengthy selection process by the RARA, and after demonstrating its commitment to carry forward this one-of-a-kind event, Roswell has been chosen to host the return of the air races in 2025. The event will continue to feature seven classes of racing, static displays, military demonstrations and more, welcoming fans back to the stands as the world’s fastest motorsport takes to the skies once again.

“We’re thrilled to bring our honored tradition of racing to Roswell and are confident that they have both the enthusiasm and resources to expand the future of our races for many generations to come,” said Fred Telling, CEO and chairman of the board for the RARA. “While Roswell was chosen, we are truly grateful for the overwhelming support, dedication and enthusiasm shown by all the communities who submitted their bids to host our event. It was incredibly difficult to select a final location as each venue had their own unique strengths and challenges. At the end of the day, we are thankful and deeply appreciative of the teams in Pueblo and Casper who invested their time and efforts in the process.”

This decision marks a significant milestone in the event’s history, as Roswell provides an opportunity to bring national championship air racing to a new part of the country while starting the next chapter for the organization. As the new home of NCAR, Roswell provides air race participants and enthusiasts an opportunity to see the event in a new light with a newly designed course and opportunities for new attractions specific to the location. Additionally, Roswell’s airfield will set the stage for the next generation of high-fliers to compete in an innovative and exciting environment.

“To know that Roswell will be the future home of the National Championship Air Races is a privilege and honor,” said Mike Espiritu, president and CEO of the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corporation. “The event landing in Roswell is a testament to the collaboration and support of the region who have worked for the past year to make this dream a reality. We are confident that we can help the event grow and expand for many years to come.”

In April 2023, the RARA initiated an official request for proposals, receiving an impressive 38 inquiries from prospective locations across the country. Following this, 11 cities participated in bidders’ conferences, with six submitting comprehensive proposals. After a series of site visits conducted at each location by the RARA, factors such as the ability of venues to host large crowds, handle hundreds of aircraft, and support the large racecourse needed for the event were taken into consideration. With these and many other factors in mind, Casper, Wyo., Pueblo, Colo., and Roswell were chosen as the top three finalists.

The NCAR will take place at the Roswell Air Center, a former military base for the U.S. Army and Air Force. Today, the air center is one of the largest centers for the commercial aviation industries of the Southwest.

In addition to attending the air races, attendees can also enjoy a day at the Mescalero Sand Dunes, visit the Walker Aviation Museum, head to the Spring River Zoo or Carlsbad Caverns, and much more. Roswell’s annual UFO Festival is held every summer, where attendees from all over can experience something truly out of this world.

While preparations continue for the 2024 Reno Air Show and the 60th anniversary celebration in October, the organization is looking forward to planning the return of the NCAR in their new home in Roswell in September 2025.

“The New Mexico Tourism Department is excited to hear the news that the City of Roswell will become the new home for the National Championship Air Races and the economic prospects the move will present for southeastern New Mexico,” New Mexico Tourism Department Acting Secretary Lancing Adams said in a statement. “Major events have served as critical drivers of tourism and economic activity for communities throughout New Mexico. They offer destinations of all sizes the opportunity to share their unique heritage, natural features and local businesses with travelers from near and afar who are looking for a little slice of New Mexico True.

“With the selection of Roswell as the new home for the National Championship Air Races, New Mexico now has yet another great reason to share the Land of Enchantment with the world.”

Brienne Green
Daily Press Editor

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