WRAL.com at the State Fair

Visitors make NC State Fair profitable

Posted October 16, 2013
Updated October 17, 2013

In just 11 days a year, the North Carolina State Fair turns a profit that supports the state fairgrounds property year-round. Not a single penny from taxpayers goes to the fairgrounds, unless you count the dollars spent voluntarily on admission and ride tickets.

The 2012 State Fair brought in about $11.5 million, according to spokesman Brian Long. That revenue accounts for about 75 percent of all revenue brought in for the entire year at the fairgrounds. Events at the horse complex, flea markets and car shows comprise the remainder of revenue.

Most of the fairgrounds revenue comes from admission tickets, which this year cost $9 at the gate for adults and $4 for children. Last year, revenue from ticket sales was $6.75 million. Rent paid by the carnival company is another main source of income for the fair. That payment in 2012 totaled $2 million.

The fairgrounds closed the books last year with a $1.5 million net profit. State Fairgrounds budget State Fair a money maker

Long said the fairgrounds invests any profits in renovating buildings and improving the grounds. The fairgrounds operates as an enterprise fund, meaning it is receipt-supported and does not rely on appropriations from the state.

Due to the immense success of the State Fair in recent years, the fairgrounds has been profitable every year since 1970, Long said. Last year, 965,297 people paid that price of admission over the course of the State Fair.

If a severe drop in revenue at the state fair was to arise, such as bad weather, fair staff would cut expenses to accommodate the loss, he said.

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  • clayrock84 Oct 17, 2013

    visitors make fair profitable...........hm.... I sure hope whoever wrote this headline has another job lined up. now just where else would the profit come from? employees? employers? geez, wral, has anyone there ever heard of proofreading?

  • Mommyoftwo Oct 17, 2013

    "If a severe drop in revenue at the state fair was to arise, such as bad weather, fair staff would cut expenses to accommodate the loss, he said."

    So they're logical...obviously not run by the government!

  • tayled Oct 17, 2013

    Someone please tell me my info is wrong. Please tell me that City of Raleigh did not schedule road closings during the State Fair.

    I remember back in the day that the State-UNC football game was always during the fair. Made for traffic nightmares when the game was in Raleigh.

  • TMWSIY Oct 17, 2013

    HOW ABOUT FREE PARKING EVERY OTHER YEAR THAT COST ADDS UP YOU PAY TO PARK YOU PAY TO GET IN AND THEN YOU REALLY PAY ONCE YOUR IN..JUST A THOUGHT IT MAY DRAW EVEN MORE PEOPLE IF THERE WERE FREE PARKING

    We never "pay" to park. Go to Carter Finly - It's free there - always has been I think. you might have to walk a little bit, but dont go to the first lot w/ the flags waving. Those are private lots they rent and can charge you 10$ or whatever.

  • HadEnough Oct 17, 2013

    The fair could make a lot more money if they did not give away admission tickets to all their political pals. State legislators always receive an envelope with many admission tickets. I talking about 10,000 + total. This just isn't right.

  • st5937 Oct 17, 2013

    HOW ABOUT FREE PARKING EVERY OTHER YEAR THAT COST ADDS UP
    YOU PAY TO PARK YOU PAY TO GET IN AND THEN YOU REALLY PAY ONCE YOUR IN..JUST A THOUGHT IT MAY DRAW EVEN MORE PEOPLE IF THERE WERE FREE PARKING

  • Inside The Beltline Oct 16, 2013

    The good thing about the State Fair is that the people who enjoy the most come together: the extreme right and the extreme left. Maybe the US Congress should come to Raleigh next weekend.

  • theblazer Oct 16, 2013

    "Visitors make the fair profitable? That's amazing. I thought it could make a profit if no one came."

    What we need is FAIRCARE where you ticket price is based on your gender, age, and the amount of income you make.

    That's a great idea, then tell the people who paid the most that they aren't eligible to get on certain rides or get free fair food because they paid more to be at the Fair.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 16, 2013

    "Visitors make the fair profitable? That's amazing. I thought it could make a profit if no one came."

    What we need is FAIRCARE where you ticket price is based on your gender, age, and the amount of income you make.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 16, 2013

    Well that is pretty decent. good to see something paying its own way for a change. I have not gone to the fair in over twenty years, it just got boring to me, but lots of people go and they have fun.

    "Who pays for the inspectors that insure all rides are safe and all foods vendors meet heath standards"

    Not sure, I would assume the ride vendors have to pay for the inspections. I hope they are better inspections than the one I got on my new heat pump installation. That was a joke and I was ripped off by the county to the tune of 125 dollars.

    It is simply great how many ways the Government extorts money from people. Just an example, on the outside he flipped up the cover on the disconnect box. Did he pull the cover and check that the fuses were the right size and the wiring was secure? NOPE. Did he actually enter the attic space to check anything? Nope. Poked his head up, put a flashlight on the unit 20 feet away and pronounced it to be good to go.

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