Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey to end circus, last performance slated for May

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The CEO of the company that produces Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circuses announced that the company will have its last circus performances in May.

Feld Entertainment CEO Kenneth Feld said in a press release on the company's website that ticket sales have been declining for years, but the shows saw an even more dramatic drop in attendance after the circus took the elephants off the road.

"This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company," he said:

Nearly 50 years ago, my father founded our company with the acquisition of Ringling Bros. The circus and its people have continually been a source of inspiration and joy to my family and me, which is why this was such a tough business decision to make. The decision was even more difficult because of the amazing fans that have become part of our extended circus family over the years, and we are extremely grateful to the millions of families who have made Ringling Bros. part of their lives for generations. We know Ringling Bros. isn’t only our family business, but also your family tradition.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey has served as inspiration for all of the live entertainment produced at Feld Entertainment. We learned from the circus, and applied those learnings to our other productions. Without Ringling Bros., we wouldn’t have the vibrant live entertainment company that we have today. Ringling Bros. will always be part of Feld Entertainment, and its spirit will live on in every production and project we do.

Circus XTREME will have its last performance in Providence, Rhode Island, May 7, and the Out of this World event will conclude in Uniondale, New York, on May 21.

Other live events produced by Feld include Marvel Universe LIVE!, Monster Jam, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice and Disney Live.