The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) has been cancelled for the second year in a row over, you guessed it, COVID. Though things are a bit more complicated this time around.
Progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that New Yorkers will need proof of vaccination to do everything from going to the movies to dining out starting August 16th. While this doesn’t include a mask mandate, something he said was unnecessary, requiring thousands of people from out of state to furnish vaccination cards they likely already lost makes NYC hosting the auto show a difficult (if not impossible) proposition. NYIAS organizers announced their decision to cancel the event on Wednesday.
The press release reads a lot like the one we saw last year and wraps with a familiar promise that our would-have-been hosts “firmly believe” that the trade show will return in April of 2022.
“As custodians of the 121-year-old New York Auto Show, we are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone including attendees, exhibitors, and the thousands of men and women who put the Show together. Over the past few weeks, and especially within the last few days, circumstances have changed making it more difficult to create an event at the high standard that we and our clients expect,” stated NYIAS President Mark Schienberg.
“At the onset of planning for the August Show, we were increasingly excited at the prospect of hosting the event as the number of vaccinations in New York continued to climb and mask-wearing reduced the spread in the City. All signs were positive, and the Show was coming together stronger than ever, but today is a different story.”
The event was supposed to play host to an entire floor of electric vehicles this year as part of “EV Test Fest” that would have allowed attendees to drive cars around indoors. While that was also scaled back ahead of the now-cancelled event, it sounded pretty ambitious and like the kind of thing that would have drawn in more attendees than usual.
“The Covid pandemic has challenged our City, the country and the entire world, but just like the automobile industry, we know that the New York Auto Show will rebound and be bigger and better than before,” said Schienberg.
As someone who lives here, that’s seeming less likely every single day. But here’s to hoping the New York Auto Show, or whatever name they decide to give it when it moves to a different locale, returns someday.
In the interim, don’t assume other events are safe from cancellations just because they’re scheduled to take place beyond the confines of Manhattan. Mayor de Blasio has suggested his “NYC Pass” vaccination requirement is the best and only way to force literally every person to get vaccinated and should be adopted by other parts of the country.
“When you hear those words, I want you to imagine the notion that, because someone’s vaccinated, they can do all the amazing things that are available in this city,” he told the press this week, adding that those who had not been vaccinated need to be made aware that they will not be able to “fully participate in our society.”
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden agreed when asked if other cities should pursue the NYC Pass model and subsequent two-tiered system.
[Image: beka venezia/Shutterstock]