The Ringling Bros Circus. will return next year without animals on tour

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After a long hiatus, The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus are set to return.

Feld Entertainment®, the production company behind the circus has confirmed that “The Greatest Show On Earth” will return next year.

The three-ring circus, known for its acts featuring lions, tigers and elephants, closed in May 2017.

The show had come under pressure from animal rights activists who alleged mistreatment of elephants. In 2016, after a costly legal battle, the circus agreed to remove the elephants from the show and send them to an elephant sanctuary in Florida. Once the elephants were removed from the show, ticket sales dropped dramatically. The show ended the following year after a 146-year run.

The showrunners confirmed on Wednesday that the circus will return in 2023 without the animals.

“We will not be touring with animals,” said show producer Juliette Feld Grossman, chief operating officer of Feld Entertainment. says TODAY.

The show will instead focus on “displaying incredible feats that push the boundaries of human potential and create breathtaking moments,” according to a press release.

“We’ve spent countless hours conducting research, speaking with consumers, and scouting talent around the world to deliver a unique experience,” Feld Grossman said in a press release. “The Greatest Show on Earth, with its combination of thrill, art, comedy and fantasy, will bring generations of families together, creating memories that will last a lifetime.”

Rehearsals will start in June 2023 and the official tour will begin in September. Tickets will go on sale in April 2023.

For more information, visit www.ringling.com.