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Interim Mayor Gloria Encourages Miramar Air Show Attendance

Aired 9/5/13 on KPBS News.

A stripped-down Miramar Air Show gets a boost from San Diego civic leaders.

— San Diego leaders are trying to rally support for the stripped-down Miramar Air Show in October.

Ernie Taylor

Crowds at Miramar Airshow in 2011

The air show has attracted as many as a half a million people to San Diego, but this year's event is missing some major components.

Defense department budget cuts mean there will be no military fly-bys and that means no Blue Angels. Interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said that should not ground enthusiasm for the event.

"By coming out to the airshow, not only are you going to have a great time with family and friends, but you're also making a statement that you want the air show to continue," said Gloria. "And I know that our friends in Washington, D.C. will hear that message loud and clear."

Gloria said the air show gives people a chance to focus on the good things happening in San Diego.

While airplanes are always a big attraction for people coming into to town for the show, economists focus on the dollars. How much money does the event generate?

"The air show is one of those things where the community is very proud of it and they gather around it, but people travel. They travel to see that," said Mark Cafferty, executive director of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. "They come to San Diego and they want to be part of it. They're veterans themselves. They served at Miramar at one point or another."

Innovation, tourism and the military are three sectors that drive growth in San Diego's economy, Cafferty said. The airshow actually brings two of those things together, said Cafferty, and once visitors come to town, they typically spend time and money to experience other parts of the city.

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