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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ringling Bros. kicking sand over Coney Island return this summer
February 25, 2011
By RICH CALDER from: The New York Post

World-famous Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus is pulling its Big Top out of Coney Island.
The “Greatest Show on Earth” confirmed today that it’s dropping plans to return to the fabled boardwalk for a third consecutive summer season, citing scheduling problems.
City officials said the decision is also due to rising operating costs, although Feld Entertainment, which runs the circus, says it isn't ruling out returning to Coney Island as early as summer 2012.
Some Coney Island merchants say Ringling Bros.’ decision is a big loss for the amusement district -- considering its 2009 and 2010 one-ring tent shows attracted more than 250,000 patrons to what had long been an empty boardwalk lot by W. 22 Street.
“It’s a very sad loss because they brought a lot of color and energy to Coney Island,” said activist Diana Carlin, who runs Lola Staar Boutique on the boardwalk.
City officials, however, said they plan to seek other “entertainment options” for the privately owned lot and build “on the success” of last summer – the amusement district’s busiest season in 46 years following the opening of the new Luna Park.
Although Ringling Bros. has kicked sand over its Coney Island operation this season, it isn’t giving up on Brooklyn.
Besides the possibility of a future Coney Island encore, the Greatest Show on Earth has inked a deal to bring at least 48 shows annually to the planned Barclays Center once the future Brooklyn home of the NBA’s Nets opens in mid-2012.
The shows will be much more extravagant than the boardwalk shows and rival similar Ringling Bros. shows now held at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan

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