Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Night Airshow Performance 'Huge Success'; Says Draper

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Night Airshow Performance 'Huge Success'; Says Draper

Article excerpt

A night airshow and performances by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels jet demonstration team will highlight Oklahoma City's Aerospace America '89, according to show planners.

The unusual Friday night performance of Aerospace America '88, held at Will Rogers World Airport June 17-19, was a huge success, according to Stanley Draper Jr., director of special projects for the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.

This assessment was made even though only 5,000 people attended the Friday night show, one of the first in the airshow industry.

"It was a success, no matter how you look at it," Draper said. "The people at that performance were people who probably would not have attended the other shows.

"A lot of people were there with their youngsters because it was so much cooler than the other shows. These people probably wouldn't have shown up during the hot days."

A preliminary count of ticket stubs, Draper said, shows that 63,710 people attended the airshow, compared to 49,000 in 1987 and 35,000 in 1986.

"We are still trying to get all the different (ticket) outlets to report," he said, "but it looks like this will be a pretty good number on our attendance."

A final audit has not been made, Draper said, but it appears as if the show will have a net income of about $500,000, which will be donated to the Oklahoma Air Space Museum and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration gallery of the International Photography Hall of Fame.

Attendance for the 1988 show fell short of early projections, but Draper said it was labeled a success for there were more out-of-town and out-of-state visitors this year than before.

"We know that," he said, "because we received a lot of telephone calls and ticket orders by mail. Also, we checked license tags of cars in the parking lots, so we know there were a lot of out-of-state cars there."

Airshow officials have invited the Blue Angels, Draper said, but it will not be known until late December whether they will accept. …

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