PNE Fair sees its highest attendance in 5 years for 2019 season

Sep 4 2019, 7:44 pm

The PNE Fair saw a stabilized attendance figure for its 109th annual event in 2019, marking the highest attendance in five years.

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In a release, Fair officials say the Fair saw 731,708 attendees through its 15-day long event — up from 705,381 in 2018 and 722,466 in 2017. It was the largest number since 2014 when the Fair experienced 769,242 guests.

The weather cooperated throughout most of this year’s Fair, and the attendance was achieved even with the permanent closure of Coaster, one of Playland’s largest ride attractions, and the temporary closure of The Beast that extended into the first week of the Fair.

Attendance generally trended higher prior to 2013, when the event was reduced from 17 days to 15 days, with both Mondays — typically slower days for attendance — eliminated from the schedule.

In 2010, buoyed by expanded programming to celebrate the PNE’s centennial, Fair attendance returned to levels that were regularly experienced in the 1990s, with an attendance of 937,485.

Next year, in 2020, the Fair will mark its 110th anniversary.

Here is a breakdown of the Fair’s annual attendance history:

  • 2019 – 731,708
  • 2018 – 705,381
  • 2017 – 722,466
  • 2016 – 712,367
  • 2015 – 678,193
  • 2014 – 769,242
  • 2013 – 712,049
  • 2012 – 763,000
  • 2011 – 803,598
  • 2010 – 937,485
  • 2009 – 855,137
  • 2008 – 753,298
  • 2007 – 906,808
  • 2006 – 958,781
  • 2005 – 903,467

These figures do not include the months-long Playland operating season, outside of the Fair period.

Over the coming years, the PNE plans to embark on a significant expansion and improvement of Playland, transforming it into a theme park destination with new theming and rides. Construction on the project, which expands Playland from 15 acres to 22 acres, could begin in 2022 for a full completion by 2028.

There are also plans to overhaul and improve the exhibition facilities utilized by the Fair, including added and upgraded green spaces. One major component could potentially include a rebuild of the amphitheatre to modernized standards and with an overhead canopy.

PNE Amphitheatre

Artistic rendering of the potential “best scenario” concept for a new PNE Amphitheatre. (PNE)

Potential concept for Playland’s expansion. (PNE)

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