A new documentary profiling the unrivaled aerial acrobatics of the US Navy Blue Angels has got a lot of people wondering - are local leaders looking at bringing them back to Tuscaloosa any time soon?

As long-time residents know well, the Angels have performed here during five different presentations of the Tuscaloosa Regional Airshow since Mayor Walt Maddox was first elected in 2009.

The mayor joined the Steve & DC Show on 95.3 the Bear for a wide-ranging interview Thursday morning, but at the end of his call, fielded a question about when the Blue Angels would return to the skies over the Druid City - their last appearance was during the weather-plagued 2018 Airshow.

Thanks to high costs and the COVID pandemic, the answer is unfortunately no time soon, Maddox said Thursday morning.

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"The short answer is probably not for a long time," Maddox said. "The city put on that event several different times and the city nets out losing around $350,000 on the event. It's hard to find partners who want to go in and help you at least get to the point of breaking even."

With prices high on everything, everywhere and footing universally uncertain after the worst days of the COVID pandemic, Maddox said there's been no appetite to bring the Airshow back without a way to mitigate financial losses.

"In the last few years, it's been impossible to be able to say. 'OK, we want we want to go in and lose 350,000 dollars on an event like that," Maddox said. "And the other part is when we analyze the amount of hotel room nights, it doesn't generate a lot of economic development. People come in and then they leave."

"It's not to say we wouldn't look at doing that in the future, but I think coming out of post-COVID and pouring our resources now into public safety, I think for now that's probably a few years away," Maddox said.

Knowing his audience on the morning show, the mayor didn't let the interview end without some humor.

"That didn't stop the city of Northport from hosting it! Or the county, they could host it," Maddox laughed. "Hey, we'll rent them the airport for free. How about that?"

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