Air Races

Your Guide to the 2021 STIHL National Championship Air Races

Named the #1 Air Show in America in 2017, the National Championship Air Races roars into the Reno Stead Airport every September. Undeniably iconic to Reno Tahoe, it’s the world’s only closed-course racing event and attracts fans from around the globe.

The National Championship Air Races is the last event of its kind, carrying on the tradition of the Cleveland Air Races of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. For one week, the high desert north of Reno becomes home to hundreds of aircraft, their pilots and crews. Over the past ten years, the event has attracted more than 1 million spectators.

Find out more about the National Championship Air Races with this guide to the event!

The National Championship Air Races Satisfy Your Need for Speed!

The most unique air racing event and aviation experience combines the world’s fastest motorsport with spectacular military and civilian air entertainment. The electrifying and highly anticipated race action features six aircraft classes competing on a pylon course. The Jet and Unlimited classes reach staggering speeds in excess of 500 mph while negotiating left-hand turns just 50 feet from the ground with other racers in pursuit!

Air Show and Military Displays

Racing is not the only reason that people flock to the event, however. There are behind-the-scenes interaction with pilots and planes in the Pits, incredible air show performances by the USAF Thunderbirds, military displays and an impressive variety of exhibits, shopping and food. A little something to thrill everyone!

Fun for Kids at the Air Races

Besides seeing race planes and air show performances, kids can enjoy the Drone Zone, climb into a real military cargo plane, visit the aviation center or kids zone and shop for kid-sized merchandise at vendor booths.

Get Your National Championship Air Race Tickets

Single-day, weekend or season passes are available for General Admission, the Pits, Reserved Seating and the Chairman’s (hospitality) Tent. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or you can buy them at the gate. For the ultimate up-close experience, box seating is also available but must be purchased directly through the Reno Air Racing Association by calling 775-972-6663.

Parking and Shuttles

General public parking is within easy walking distance of the grandstands, box seating and Pit entrance. Handicap parking is available for vehicles displaying an official handicap plate or placard, and there is a shuttle service to the main gate. Parking passes can be purchased directly at each lot.

If you prefer to let someone else do the driving, shuttle locations are located Eldorado Resort Casino at THE ROW and the Nugget Casino Resort. Shuttle tickets may be purchased at the pick-up/drop-off locations or at Reno Stead Field.

What to Bring and FAQ

  • Gates open at 7 a.m. daily with event action starting at 8 a.m.
  • There’s no shaded grandstand seating, so bring sunblock, a hat and a light jacket because temperatures may vary widely throughout the day.
  • Umbrellas are not permitted.
  • Outside food and beverage, including water, are not allowed in the venue.
  • Coolers of any size are not permitted except for Box Seat ticket holders who have secured a special cooler pass.
  • For other frequently asked questions, check out the National Championship Air Race FAQ page.

See you at the races!

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