Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus artists and elephants perform during Barnum's FUNundrum in New York. The parent company, Feld Entertainment, will consolidate its operations in the Tampa Bay area.
Written by Associated Press
Dec 9, 2012
ELLENTON — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was once synonymous with Sarasota, its winter home for more than three decades. Now another Florida county hopes to establish a similarly long connection with “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
The parent company of the circus, Feld Entertainment, plans to consolidate its operations in the Tampa Bay area.
The circus will move its winter quarters, currently at the Florida State Fairgrounds, to a new 47-acre campus set to open in Ellenton next year, Feld spokesman Stephen Payne said.
Feld, which also produces other live shows such as “Disney on Ice,” also plans to relocate its global headquarters from Vienna, Va., to Manatee County over the next five years. Costumes, sets, lights and sound equipment that Feld currently keeps on a 4-acre campus in Palmetto also will move to Ellenton.
“After the first of the year, we are going to start migrating from Palmetto,” Payne said. “We’re hoping to have it up and running on a much larger scale by next summer.”