2015 Illinois State Fair Reports Smaller Attendance, Big Ticket Sales

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SPRINGFIELD – Officials say the 2015 Illinois State Fair had fewer fairgoers but estimations show the fair had the second highest gross sales in Grandstand ticket sales.

A total of 411,547 fairgoers attended the event, which equals $1,356,500 in gate and parking revenue. That is 51.4% down from 2014's attendance of 847,000. Organizers say even though there were less in attendance, the gate and parking revenue was just $55,000 short of 2014’s gate and parking revenue.

Grandstand ticket sales was one of the biggest contributors to the 2015 fair’s total revenue.

State Fair Manager Patrick Buchen says he is proud of the Illinois State Fair and what they were able to present for fairgoers.

“We have put together a methodology that is tried and true by event industry professionals nationwide because vendors, sponsors and Illinois taxpayers deserve an accurate depiction of who attended the fair,” Buchen says.

The Grandstand entertainment was the second-highest grossing lineup in Illinois State Fair history. It brought in an estimated $1.9 million in revenue, ranking 5th in the all-time number of ticket sales, with 51,420 tickets sold. Top selling concerts included popular acts such as Fall Out Boy and Rascal Flatts with Scotty McCreery and Raelynn.

Each state fair also provides a significant economic impact to the City of Springfield and surrounding communities.

According to the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, the Illinois State Fair creates thousands of jobs for the local economy. Approximately $86 million is generated for local businesses during the fair. $2.67 million in state sales tax is generated as well.

Planning is already underway for next year’s fair. Officials say it will be held August 11 – 21, 2016.

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