Spanning 146 years, Feld Entertainment, owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus said “The Greatest Show on Earth” will have its curtain call in May.
“This was a difficult business decision to make, but by ending the circus tours, we will be able to concentrate on the other lines of business within the Feld Entertainment portfolio,” said Chief Operating Officer Juliette Feld. “Now that we have made this decision, as a company, and as a family, we will strive to support our circus performers and crew in making the transition to new opportunities.”
After their Orlando and Miami shows on Saturday, January 14, the company broke the news to their employees. While the company is saddened about the news, people for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a major critic of the circus for its treatment of animals, celebrated the announcement.
For years, the iconic circus have been battling with animal rights groups, such as the one to eliminate elephant acts. With the ticket sales dropping due to modernization, the high operating costs and long, costly legal battles are huge factors to the decision of the circus to shut down.
The company’s two circus shows, Out of This World and Circus Xtreme, have 30 shows left, including appearances in Atlanta, Brooklyn and Boston. The final shows are May 7 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., and May 21 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.