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Number of visitors on New York State Fairgrounds above 1 million for first time ever

Staff Writer |
Attendance at all privately-run events held on the New York State Fairgrounds in 2018 rose above 1 million for the first time ever.

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The attendance of 1,074,909 was an increase of 29.1 percent over 2017 and is more than double the attendance seen in 2016.

Including the State Fair's record attendance of 1.27 million during its 13-day run, the total full-year attendance of 2,353,919 is 18 percent higher than in 2017 and 43 percent higher than in 2016.

This growth coincides with the State's investment of more than $120 million since 2015 to modernize and revitalize the Syracuse-area Fairgrounds as part of the CNY Rising strategy to boost the entire Central New York economy.

The new Exposition Center opened in August for the 2018 Great New York State Fair. At 110,000 square feet of clear-span space, it is the largest major events facility north of New York City between Boston and Cleveland.

During the Fair, it hosted a temporary ice hockey rink and the largest I Love New York tourism exhibit ever brought to the Fair. Since then, it has become the home of a new horse competition, a new consumer entertainment show, and an expanded RV show.

Among the brand new events coming to the Expo Center are the Winter Fair in February; the Indoor Auto Racing Series in March; and the IHSA National Horse Show in September. In addition, many other consumer and business-to-business trade shows are either moving to the Expo Center or expanding their shows to take advantage of the new space.

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