Ringling Bros. Circus shuts down, likely changing future NBA travel schedules


Many teams in the NBA have a “Circus Trip” on their schedule. The Chicago Bulls are the most famous, but squads like the Miami Heat have also been forced out on the road for extended periods so elephants and clowns can do their thing at NBA arenas.

Now, that’s all confirmed to be coming to a close.

Ringling Bros. Circus — the cause for the eviction notice many NBA teams receive during the course of the season — announced on Saturday they were ceasing operations.

Kenneth Feld, CEO of the company that owns the circus, said in a statement that the removal of elephants from the show accelerated the decline in ticket sales necessary to shutter the traveling circus.

Meanwhile, teams like the Heat, Bulls, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets, and many more will likely benefit from a schedule change.

Without the circus acting as a motivator perhaps extended NBA road trips could be cut short and those games sprinkled throughout the rest of the season. The schedule is already as brutal as it can be, and there’s been a call in recent years to figure out how to shorten the season or make travel easier on players.

This could be the start of something good for the NBA schedule, or simply a consolation prize. We’ll have to see what the league does with the schedule next season, but there is hope yet for some teams to get some relief.