Several PRCA rodeos set attendance records
The winter rodeo season has been a fruitful one for many PRCA rodeos and their committees.
Several rodeos have reported record attendance, including the richest regular-season rodeo of the year – the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
Total attendance on the grounds at the 2016 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo was estimated at 2,034,497 – far exceeding the previous attendance record by an astounding 17 percent.
From concessions to carnival, virtually every category set an all-time record. In the AT&T Center, 14 of 21 rodeo performances were sold out, and the seven other performances were near capacity.
“In all my years involved with the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo I have never seen a stretch of beautiful weather like we had this year – that was a great help,” San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Executive Director and CEO Keith Martin said. “But there is no mistaking that over 6,000 volunteers who work tirelessly, and world-class cowboys and cowgirls competing for big winnings, all contributed to bringing San Antonio a great event.”
As reported earlier by a Trinity University study, the 2015 rodeo produced an economic impact for San Antonio of more than $250 million. While the 2016 Trinity study has yet to be tabulated, all indications are that the total economic impact will also increase accordingly.
“We are humbled by the incredible record-setting success this year, and we are grateful to this community and many visitors who supported our cause in amazing ways,” Martin said. “It will allow us to give back in a meaningful way to educational efforts for the youth of Texas.”
Add the 91st La Fiesta de los Vaqueros to the growing number of rodeos that have broken attendance records in 2016. The Tucson, Ariz., rodeo is always an attraction, and that was certainly true this year.
“We don’t have all of our final numbers in yet, but it looks very much like we did (set a record),” said rodeo General Manager Gary Williams. “The preliminary results are very good. We were sold out the last two days, and came pretty close on Thursday and Friday of that week. We run a split weekend, and the first two days were about normal but the last four (Feb. 25-28) were really strong.”
La Fiesta de los Vaqueros attracted about 58,000 fans to the Tucson Rodeo Grounds in 2015, Williams said.
“Our arena seats 11,000 and this year we topped 60,000,” he said. “If we get good weather, we’re going to have strong attendance, and we’ve been pretty lucky with good weather the last couple of years.”
The Scottsdale, Ariz., Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots (Feb. 28) was at capacity at the WestWorld Arena, according to Dave Alford, the committee chairman of the Parada del Sol rodeo.
Alford added the Parada del Sol rodeo was a sellout Feb. 27, and was near capacity Feb. 26.
The San Angelo (Texas) Rodeo saw a large number of patrons come through the turnstiles as well. Nine of the 11 rodeo performances were sold out, and the other two, during Super Bowl weekend, still drew large crowds.
Tom Thompson, a member of the San Angelo committee, estimates that nearly 54,000 people attended the 11 rodeo performances Feb. 5-19.