nfr Las Vegas national finals rodeo Arlington texas back when they bucked cowgirl magazine
Left photo courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society; right photo courtesy of Photos by James Phifer/PRCA…

Well folks, as I’m sure you already know, the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is coming to the new Globe Life Field at Arlington, Texas!

According to PRCA history books, the first NFR was held in Dallas in 1959 and continued at that venue through 1961. From 1962 through 1964 Los Angeles hosted the competition. In 1964, Oklahoma City successfully bid to be the host city. In 1965 the first NFR in State Fair Arena drew 47,027 fans. The world event remained there through 1978 and thereafter was held in the Myriad Convention Center. Rodeo’s premier attraction remained in Oklahoma City through 1984, bringing Oklahoma merchants an estimated annual revenue of $8 million. In 1984, the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, bid for the event and the NFR has been held there ever since.

The National Finals Rodeo is the largest and most lucrative event that Las Vegas has the pleasure of hosting every year. With the rodeo comes countless other trade shows, association finals, barrel races, ropings, and attractions that are all able to happen because of the PRCA’S event.

It’s definitely scary to think that we will be leaving Sin City for the year of 2020. Western industry legends have been attending this iconic event for decades. Will it have the same feel?

The answer: we don’t know.

But what we do know: our industry simply would not be able to attend this annual event WITH fans IN Las Vegas THIS year.

It’s astounding and exciting to see the phenomenal movement that has been able to take place for something that starts getting planned as soon as it is over. To see the Mayor of Fort Worth, Mayor of Arlington, representatives from Governor Abbott’s office and Globe Life Field, stand next to our friends at the PRCA and Cowboy Channel on Wenesday’s press conference was awe-inspiring. They all stood with the baseball diamond as their backdrop and in full agreement to put in the grit it would take to make this event happen.

We look forward to the coming announcements concerning other trade shows and events that are held in conjunction with the National Finals. The NFR will definitely be a little different this year, but we are so excited that we still get to see those blue and yellow bucking chutes in December. We may have to leave our home of Las Vegas temporarily; but home is where the heart is and our heart is with our love of rodeo. Thank you for making the NFR happen despite all the challenges of 2020.

Click here for the full press release from the PRCA.