- Associated Press - Friday, November 21, 2014

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - While the 2014 Kansas State Fair saw its best attendance in 16 years, fewer people are buying tickets to watch events in the 90-year-old grandstand, according to numbers released at a fair board meeting this week.

Grandstand attendance reached a low of 23,187, The Hutchinson News (https://bit.ly/1yxYR2v ) reported. Fewer people have bought tickets for concerts and activities at the grandstand since 1993, when more than 57,000 took to the seats.

Last year, about 30,500 people attended grandstand events. The previous low was in 2001 with 23,369 people.

Fair Manager Denny Stoecklein told board members Thursday that looking at revenue and expenses for September’s fair, the grandstand was “$57,000 negative.”

“What it doesn’t take into account is the other revenue opportunities from people who attend the fair,” Stoecklein said. “But it certainly is not where we want to be, and we want to work to make that a positive number.”

Fair officials say only three concerts covered their guarantees. The best seller was country singer Hunter Hayes, with 4,200 tickets. The next biggest seller was 3 Doors Down, but tickets were about $5,500 short of the guarantee.

“It was a challenging year for concerts,” Stoecklein said.

But motor sports did well, Stoecklein said. The fair made $6,700 from the Demolition Derby and $7,300 from the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull.

Grandstand events grossed $465,940.

Despite the low grandstand attendance, more than 355,000 people attended the state fair this year. Vendors serving fried food and other fair delicacies saw increased food sales from last year.

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Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, https://www.hutchnews.com


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