Did the line to get a corny dog at the State Fair of Texas seem a little long this year? Did you have to claw your way to the mustard dispensers to adorn your recently fried treasure in liquid sunshine? If this year's event seemed a little more crowded, it likely has little to do with your decreasing patience. The annual 24-day event is getting significantly more crowded each year.
The folks behind the fair released their annual sales data yesterday, and the numbers are what one might expect considering the reports of traffic outside of Fair Park over the weekend. This year's coupon sales hit $53.6 million, crushing last year's sales and setting another new record.
This number is up by a lot from last year's $42 million, and up significantly more if you look at the past 10 years. In 2013, coupon sales were just over $37 million, and if you go all the way back to 2006, they were just $26 million. Coupon sales have more than doubled in just under a decade, which means a lot more people are walking through the gates, regardless of where those paper tickets end up.
If the trend continues, the fair is going to to get a lot more crowded in the coming years, testing the capacity of Fair Park and the surrounding infrastructure. More customers next year means more traffic, more parking issues and even longer lines for deep fried things. It also means more ticket sales, which hopefully all get turned into Crazy Mouse rides and corny dogs, provided they don't end up in the clothes dryer like mine did this year.
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