Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Announces Final Event Numbers • I am New Mexico

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Announces Final Event Numbers

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Announces Final Event Numbers

Guess What? It’s time to see how many balloons made it out to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2017 this year. As always, it was a fantastic gathering! Now, let’s get down to the brass tax.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta


Event Theme: Inflate your Imagination


Final Numbers: Following are the official numbers for the 46th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta held October 7-15, 2017.

  • Total number of registered regular shape balloons:                           571
  • Total number of registered special shape balloons:                           93
  • Total number of registered gas balloons:                                           8
  • Total number of registered primary pilots:                                         557
  • Total number of estimated spectator visits:                                        887,970*
  • Total number of media organizations:                                                216
  • Total number of registered media representatives:                            978

Total numbers of countries represented (21): Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States.

Event Sessions: Weather was mostly agreeable, with 12 of the 14 ballooning events taking place. Due to poor weather conditions, the evening session on Oct. 14 was cancelled, as was the Farewell Mass Ascension on the morning of Oct. 15.


Balloon Competition Winners: The first prize in the hot air overall competition was awarded to Maurice Petrehn, of Kansas. Second overall highest ranking score went to Nick Donner of Kentucky and third to Rhett Heartsill of Texas.

Switzerland’s Nicolas Tièche and Laurent Sciboz won the 22nd America’s Challenge, establishing a new distance record for the gas balloon race.

Additional information about the 2017 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta can be found at The 2018 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will be held October 6 -14.

* It’s difficult to accurately track the number of spectators attending the nine-day event.  In order to fulfill media requests on the number of people attending the event, the Balloon Fiesta generates “estimated spectator visits.” The estimate is generated by combining the number of advance tickets, car passes, and gate passes issued to spectators, media, balloon teams, chase crew, park and ride, sponsors, service vehicles, corporate buses, entertainers, recreational vehicles, Balloon Fiesta staff, Balloon Fiesta contractors and Balloon Fiesta VIPs.  In some instances, different multipliers are used to compensate for multiple and return visits to the Balloon Fiesta Park.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Media Relations

Tom Garrity, President | The Garrity Group

Amanda Molina, Vice President | The Garrity Group

The Garrity Group: (505)898-8689

Click Here to See Our Footage of this year’s Balloon Fiesta

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