Entertainment & Events

Red Bull Air Race 2017 Comes to San Diego

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The globally renowned Red Bull Air Race World Championship is an advance aerial challenge that is unlike any other. This year 14 pilots will be competing in eight different aerial races around the globe. They will follow a racetrack in the sky, and the winner with the most points at the end becomes the Red Bull Air Race World Champion

For the first time since 2009, San Diego will be hosting one of the legs of the race. At that last race in 2009, over 50,000 participants lined the bay. Plan ahead for downtown traffic and an Uber or Lyft to drop you off to see the fantastic aerial display.

The qualifying race begins at 11:30AM on Saturday, April 15th and concludes at 6PM on Sunday, April 16th. Grab a pass to see the show from the official hosting spot, the Embarcadero Marina Park. Children and adult tickets are available for purchase, with a discount for all Active duty and Reserve military personnel. 

By Morio (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Looking for other places around the Bay to watch the Air Race? Free areas around the Midway and Seaport Village are expected to fill with spectators. You can also travel across the bay to Coronado. The Ferry Landing area should provide a great view as well. Several hotels in the area, especially the tall ones, will provide optimal viewing as well. Suggested hotels include Omni Hotel, Hard Rock, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Pendry Hotel, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, and the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina.

At the Marriott in particular, they’ll be throwing an Air Race Watch Party on April 15 and 16. Festivities run from 11-5pm on their famed Coronado Terrace, promising amazing views of the Air Race. This party is open to those 21 and over. For $65 each day, enjoy premiere viewing of the race, live music & games as well as an impressive Baja-inspired BBQ spread from award-winning Chef Aron Schwartz.

Race Rules

Pilots must have their Master Class Super License to compete. In order for new pilots to qualify for the race they must have received achievements in other international flying competitions. Red Bull racers have made their way to the championship through their participation in a competitive qualifying camp.

A Challenger Cup competition occurs at the same time as the World Championships, creating an opportunity for those in a lower flying ranking to be able to compete for a chance to win a secondary prize. Challengers will have two free practice sessions before race day, and will fly a minimum of four races out of the eight total races offered. Top scores will be added together, and the champion announced at the final race.


The planes that are flying in this world-wide competition are some of the most lightweight inventions in aviation technology.

  • Edge 540: Zivko Aeronautics, USA
  • MXS-R
  • Extra 330LX

The 2017 Schedule:

February 10th – 11th : Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

April 15th – 16th : San Diego, California

June 3rd – 4th : Chiba, Japan

July 1st – 2nd : Budapest, Hungary

July 22nd – 23rd : Kazan, Russia

September 2nd – 3rd : Porto, Portugal

September 16th – 17th : Lausitz, Germany

October 14th – 15th : Indianapolis, Indiana

Grab your tickets and participate in this worldwide competition that’s taking place right in our backyard.

Katrina is an OBcean that spends her time drinking quality coffee and engaging in the community that she lives in.

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