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Sports Show Postpones Event

Boycott from Outdoor Industry Speaks Loudly

January 24, 2013
By Larry Claypool - OVO Editor , Ohio Valley Outdoors

The power of the people have spoken.

Reed Exhibitions announced today they are postponing the annual Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show that drew a major boycott over show management's decision to exclude certain "guns" from their show. This came to light after the horrible school shootings in Connecticut last month.

The event, one of the largest outdoor shows in the nation, was scheduled for February 2-10 in Harrisburg, PA. About 1,200 vendors were expected at the show. Nearly 100,000 people annually attend the event.

Article Photos

Organizers of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show have postponed the February event due to a major boycott from exhibitors and celebrities.

In recent days many big manufacturers, sponsors and celebrities that were scheduled to be at the show announced they were joining the boycott of the event.

Below is the release offered on the ESOS website about their decision:

Reed Exhibitions has decided to postpone, for now, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show given the controversy surrounding its decision to limit the sale or display of modern sporting rifles (also called ARs) at the event. The show was scheduled to take place February 2-10 in Harrisburg, PA.

"Our original decision not to include certain products in the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show this year was made in order to preserve the event's historical focus on the hunting and fishing traditions enjoyed by American families," said Chet Burchett, Reed Exhibitions President for the Americas. "In the current climate, we felt that the presence of MSRs would distract from the theme of hunting and fishing, disrupting the broader experience of our guests. This was intended simply as a product decision, of the type event organizers need to make every day.

"It has become very clear to us after speaking with our customers that the event could not be held because the atmosphere of this year's show would not be conducive to an event that is designed to provide family enjoyment. It is unfortunate that in the current emotionally charged atmosphere this celebratory event has become overshadowed by a decision that directly affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits showcasing products and services for those interested in hunting and fishing.

"ESS has long been proud to participate in the preservation and promotion of hunting and fishing traditions, and we hope that as the national debate clarifies, we will have an opportunity to consider rescheduling the event when the time is right to focus on the themes it celebrates."

Reed Exhibitions also produces the annual Shot Show, which was held last week in Las Vegas, NV.



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