Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski 518-457-0752
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July 19, 2016

Great Reviews for the Revitalized New York State Fairgrounds as the Syracuse Nationals Hosts a Record-Breaking Show

National Classic Car Show is First to Use Fairgrounds' New Open Spaces, RV Park

The revitalization of the New York State Fairgrounds helped contribute to what organizers of the Syracuse Nationals classic car show said was the best show they've ever had. Attendance at the Nationals soared to a record estimated crowd approaching 90,000 for the three day event, according to Rob O’Connor of the Syracuse Nationals. 

The show featured more than 8,000 classic cars on display and scores of events, activities and vendors for fans of beautifully-restored vehicles.  The Syracuse Nationals is one of the nation’s largest classic car shows and provides an estimated benefit to the region of $13 million. The Nationals signed a 5 year extension in 2015 to continue hosting the event at the Fairgrounds.

This was the first event to use the many improvements made to the Fairgrounds as a result of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $50 million plan to revitalize the nation's oldest state fair and its Town of Geddes home.  The Nationals sold all 315 spaces in the new Empire RV park, which features underground water, sewer and electrical connections to each campsite. That’s 50 more spaces than they have sold in years past, and O’Connor said they sold out of spaces two months earlier this year than last year.  Thousands of cars filled the new, wide open spaces created for the 15 acre Wade Shows Midway during the Fair with room to spare.  Visitors entering the event streamed through the attractive new Main Gate and into the new entrance plaza, which featured a video welcoming screen.  An intense rainstorm Friday drained quickly due to the Fairgrounds’ storm water drainage system improvements.

“There was a lot more room for cars and the event was more spread out than ever.  It helped create a more relaxed vibe and people seemed to be in a better mood and had a lot more fun because they didn’t feel so crowded.  The new Fairgrounds gives us plenty of room to grow the Syracuse Nationals and we’re already working on plans to take advantage of this great new space and increase the economic impact for Central New York,” said O’Connor.

"We're always proud to be the home of the Syracuse Nationals, but our pride was soaring this week as we got to show off the many amazing improvements made to our Fairgrounds. We are very happy that the show went well and that our improvements helped make a difference.  We will work with the Nationals to help them grow their show. Next up is the Great New York State Fair and I can't wait to show the entire state how great we look," said Troy Waffner, Acting Fair Director.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 25 to September 5, 2016.  The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "Find Your GREAT!," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. The $50 million plan, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, revitalizes the grounds in many ways, improving the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and providing greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include the dramatic new Main Gateó the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900, a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. The plan will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation.  More information on the revitalization is available here and renderings can be viewed here.

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

2016 Press Releases