Ringling’s Rent-Free Summer

One of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus shows is expected to spend the entire summer inside a seaside tent at Coney Island in New York. And, as is its wont, the circus is getting a sweet deal, too.

The circus’ Gold Unit, also known as the Coney Island Boom-a-Ring, is expected to be inside an air-conditioned tent at Surf Avenue and West 21st Street from June 17 to Sept. 7.

It will be on land owned by Taconic Investment Partners. The circus, which is known for its enviable arena rental agreements and merch deals, will, true to form, get the property rent-free, according to the New York Times.

“For the first time, the Greatest Show on Earth is coming to one of the greatest neighborhoods in New York City – Coney Island,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference. “It’s all part of our program that we’re committed to restoring Coney Island’s vibrancy.”

The city wants to build a Coney Island area that would include arcades, roller coasters, Ferris wheels and other attractions. It is at odds with developer Joseph Sitt, who has his own proposal for the area that includes stores, time-share hotels and a smaller amusement park, according to the paper.

Unlike the large Blue Unit and Red Unit, which recently visited Madison Square Garden, the 5-year-old Gold Unit is a one-ring, touring show used for smaller sites.