After 146 years, the screen is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The proprietor of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum& Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the prove been closed down forever in May.

The iconic American sight was felled by a variety of factors, firm executives suppose. Rejecting appearance be included with high operating costs, along with changing public smacks and lengthened debates with animal liberties groups all contributed to its demise.

“There isn’t any one thing, ” supposed Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “This has been a so difficult decision for me and for the entire family.”

The company broke the word to circus employees Saturday night after displays in Orlando and Miami.

Ringling Bros. has two touring circuses this season and will perform 30 reveals between now and May. Major stops include Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and Brooklyn. The final pictures will be in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 7 and in Uniondale, New York, at the Nassau County Coliseum on May 21.

The circus, with its tropical animals, showy garbs and death-defying acrobats, has been a staple of entertainment in the United States since the mid-1 800 s. Phineas Taylor Barnum made a traveling sight of animals and human incongruities favourite, while the 5 Ringling brothers play-act juggling deeds and skits from their home base in Wisconsin. Eventually, they melded and the modern circus was accept. The sprawling troupes traveled around America by civilize, wowing publics with the sheer proportion of leisure and strange animals.

By midcentury, the circus was routine, virtuous clas amusement. But as the 20 th century went on, teenagers grew fewer and less enthralled. Movies, video, video games and the internet captivated young knowledge. The circus didn’t have savvy commodity merchandising tie-ins or Saturday morning parodies to shore up its image.

“The competitor in many ways is time, ” mentioned Feld, adding that ferrying the demo by rail and other circus aberrations such as specifying a traveling institution for performers’ youths are throwbacks to another period. “It’s a different mannequin that we can’t see how it works in today’s world-wide to apologize and maintain an affordable ticket price. So you’ve got all these stuffs working against it.”

The Feld family bought the Ringling circus in 1967. The display was just under three hours then. Today, the show is two hours and 7 minutes, with the longest segment a beast behave clocking in at 12 minutes.

“Try going a 3- or 4-year-old today to sit for 12 hours, ” he said.

Feld and his daughter Juliette Feld, who is the company’s chief operating officer, affirmed another reality that led to the closing, and it was the one thing that were originally drew millions to the present: the swine. Ringling has been targeted by activists who answer magnetism swine to play is remorseles and unnecessary.

In May of 2016, after a long and costly law combat, the company removed the elephants from the testifies and sent the swine to live on a keep farm in Central Florida. The animals had been the typify of the circus since Barnum accompanied an Asian elephant reputation Jumbo to America in 1882. In 2014, Feld Entertainment earned $25.2 million in agreements from groups including the Humane Society of the United States, ending a 14 -year fight over allegations that circus works mauled elephants.

By the time the elephants were removed, public opinion had shifted rather. Los Angeles restricted the use of bull-hooks by elephant tutors and handlers, as did Oakland, California. The municipality of Asheville, North Carolina nixed mad or tropical animals from accomplishing in the municipally owned, 7,600 -seat U.S. Cellular Center.

Attendance has been declining for 10 years, remarked Juliette Feld, but when the elephants left, there was a “dramatic drop” in ticket marketings. Paradoxically, while countless said they didn’t miss big-hearted swine to perform in circuses, many others refused to attend a circus without them.

“We know now that one of the major reasons people came to Ringling Bros. was getting to see elephants, ” she remarked. “We stand by that decision. We know it was the right decision. This was what audiences wanted to see and it emphatically played a major role.”

The Felds say their prevailing swine lions, vampires, camels, mules, alpacas, kangaroos and llamas will go to suitable residences. Juliette Feld mentions the company will continue operating the Center for Elephant Conservation.

Some 500 people play-act and work on both touring depicts. A few will be placed in positions with the company’s other, fruitful reveals it owns Monster Jam, Disney on Ice and Marvel Live, among other things but most will be out of a job. Juliette Feld said the company will help employees with job placement and resumes. In some cases where a circus hire lives on the tour railing auto( the circus wanders by learn ), the company will likewise help with housing relocation.

Kenneth Feld grew visibly feeling while discussing government decisions with a reporter. He alleged over the next four months, fans will be able to say goodbye at the remaining shows.

In recent years, Ringling Bros. tried to remain relevant, hiring its first African American ringmaster, then its first female ringmaster, and also launching an interactive app. It computed elements from its other, favourite demoes, such as motorbike daredevils and ice skaters. But it seemingly was no parallel for Pokemon Go and a generation of kids who desire familiar symbols and YouTube celebrities.

“We tried all these different things to see what would work, and supported it with a lot of funding as well, and we weren’t successful in finding the answer, ” spoke Kenneth Feld.