The Washington Post

Feld Entertainment to relocate 190 jobs to Florida

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus perform in Washington, D.C. (Sarah L. Voisin/WASHINGTON POST)

Feld Entertainment, which produces shows from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to Monster Jam to Disney On Ice, will permanently relocate 190 jobs from its Vienna corporate headquarters to a new $20 million world production headquarters on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the company announced Monday.

The move, which will take place over the next five years, will still leave more than 100 jobs at its headquarters in a Tysons Corner office building.

“I am pretty sure we will always have a level of corporate presence in the Washington area,” said Kenneth Feld, chairman of the company, which is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

The move is part of a corporate consolidation designed to put much of Feld’s massive operations, from refurbishment of its circus trains to costume creation to choreography of its ice and Monster Jam shows, under one roof.

Feld Entertainment, which began as a Washington record store more than half a century ago, employs 2,500 people worldwide.

Feld Entertainment chief executive Kenneth Feld. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

The new facility in Ellenton, Fla., replaces its current operations center in nearby Palmetto, where it has been for 20 years.

The new 47-acre campus is on the site of a former General Electric turbine plant and includes 100,000 square feet of office space with an additional 450,000 square feet of manufacturing space in two buildings. Construction on the new campus is expected to take a year.

Feld said he had been eyeing the location for 15 years, referring to it as one of the few “unique opportunities” that come around.

“It’s got stuff that really works for us in every aspect of our business,” he said. “To build it, we probably could never have economically made it work.”

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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