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The Big Top is now closing after more than 100 years

Camels are viewed by attendees of the "animal open house" before the Ringling Bros And Barnum & Bailey Circus at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. The circus has announced it will be shutting down in 2017 after more than a hundred years in operation. (Loren Elliott/The Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Camels are viewed by attendees of the “animal open house” before the Ringling Bros And Barnum & Bailey Circus at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. The circus has announced it will be shutting down in 2017 after more than a hundred years in operation. (Loren Elliott/The Tampa Bay Times via AP)

by Omar Ross

Kenneth Feld, CEO and chairman of Feld entertainment, the producers of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, had to make a tough decision for the future of the circus.

After being in business over 100 years, the Ringling Bros. circus will be coming to an end. “The circus and its people have continually been a source of inspiration and joy to the family and himself, which is why this was a tough business decision to make. The decision was even more difficult because of the amazing fans that have become part of our extended circus family over the years. The company is very grateful to the millions of families who have made Ringling Bros. part of their lives for generations,” said Feld on the company’s website.

Feld attributes the closure to recent controversies over Ringling’s use of elephants in the circus.

“Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop. This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company,” said Feld.

The circus will perform 30 shows across the United States between now and May before they take their last bow. “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME” will end its tour at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., on May 7, 2017, and “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Out of This World” will end its tour at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on May 21, 2017.

The company hopes “you will come to celebrate this American icon for one last time before our tours conclude.”

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