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Grandstand, good weather named as contributors to fair's success, which generated approximately $86 million for local business in the area.

August 27, 2015

3 Min Read

Despite fewer people attending the 2015 fair, organizers were able to bring in just $55,000 short of 2014's gate and parking revenue.  Preliminary estimates show one of the biggest contributors to the 2015 fair's total revenue was Grandstand ticket sales, which were the second highest gross sales in Illinois State Fair history. A total of 411,547 fairgoers passed through the gates this year, bringing in $1,356,500 in gate and parking revenue.


"We are very proud of the Illinois State Fair and what we were able to present to fairgoers," State Fair Manager Patrick Buchen said.  "We have put together a methodology that is tried and true by event industry professionals nationwide because vendors, sponsors and Illinois taxpayers deserve an accurate depiction of who attended the fair."

Buchen is the former chair of the Exhibition and Events Industry Audit Commission for the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. He was the first chairman of this organization and was selected because his fellow council members call him a stickler for numbers. The EEIAC states anyone who comes to an event and contributes to the commerce of that event should be included in the attendance total.

The Grandstand entertainment was the second-highest grossing lineup in Illinois State Fair history, bringing in an estimated $1.9 million in revenue.

This year's fair also ranks 5th all-time in the number of Grandstand ticket sales, with 51,420 tickets sold.  The top selling concerts for the 2015 fair included:  Sammy Hagar and the Circle with Collective Soul, Brantley Gilbert with Colt Ford and Michael Ray, Fall Out Boy, Hank Williams Junior with 38 Special, and Rascal Flatts with Scotty McCreery and Raelynn.

"We are truly lucky to have the Illinois State Fair in our community, and congratulate them on another successful year," said Gina Gemberling, Executive Director of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Attending the fair is a cherished tradition for many visitors, and also attracts new people to Springfield each summer. As our city's premier event, it generates considerable positive attention for Springfield and the entire state, which helps us with our promotional efforts throughout the year."


According to the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, the Illinois State Fair creates thousands of jobs for the local economy.  Approximately $86 million is generated for local business during the fair, and $2.67 million in state sales tax is generated thanks to the fair.

Below is a daily attendance breakout for the 2015 fair:

Thursday, August 13  (Preview Day)


Friday, August 14  (County Fairs, Horse Racing)


Saturday, August 15 (Local Officials Day)


Sunday, August 16 (Veterans Day)


Monday, August 17 (Senior, Scout Day)


Tuesday, August 18 (Ag Day)


Wednesday, August 19 (Governor Day)


Thursday, August 20 (Democrat Day)


Friday, August 21 (Future for Kids Day)


Saturday, August 22 (Park District, Conservation)


Sunday, August 23 (Family Day)


Planning is already underway for next year's fair, which will be held Aug. 11 – 21, 2016.

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