Pandemic Costs Springfield Two Major Events

Two major events scheduled to take place in Springfield have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wing Ding 42, scheduled for June 30-July 4, and the Mid-America Street Rod Nationals, scheduled for May 22-24, have both been canceled by their organizers.

Wing Ding 42, which was anticipated to bring more than 8,000 visitors to the city and an estimated $2 million in revenue, had last been in the city in 1999. However, the Gold Wing Road Riders Association head said they are interested in coming back to the city in a future year.

“We truly appreciate the help and support from the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City Springfield, in what truly was a difficult decision for us to make,” GWRRA president Abel Gallardo said in a statement. “We look forward to the possibility of bringing the event back to Springfield in the next year or two.”

The street rod event has been taking place in Springfield for more than 25 years. It has been called one of Springfield’s “signature events” and brings in over a million dollars a year in tourist dollars. The planners said they hope they will be able to reschedule the event later this year.

That event is expected to return to Springfield in 2021 and 2022.

More than 40 events scheduled in the area have been cancelled since mid-March because of the pandemic. The loss to the local economy is estimated at $26 million.

“The impact on the economy is tremendous,” Tracy Kimberlin, president/CEO of the CVB, which manages the Springfield Sports Commission, said in a statement. “Not only are hotels affected but restaurants, attractions, meeting venues, retailers and many other businesses have lost income.”

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