National Finals Rodeo Bucking Vegas For Texas

Rodeo Hopes To Return Here In 2021

Mitch Kelly
September 09, 2020 - 9:12 am
During the tenth go-round at the National Finals Rodeo at Thomas and Mack Center.

© Richard Brian-USA TODAY Sports

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LAS VEGAS, NV (KXNT) - It's been one cancelation after another since the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of Las Vegas hotels in mid-March. Later today, it's expected that the last event remaining on the 2020 calendar will be scrapped.

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is moving to Texas in December 2020.

Arlington’s Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers, will host the Wrangler NFR 2020 – the first non-baseball event at this extraordinary park. Event organizers confirmed the event will comply with all health and safety protocols for attendees. Wrangler NFR 2020 will take place December 3 through December 12, 2020 and fans can follow official PRCA updates throughout the event at www.prorodeo.com.

“We are so pleased to be at this amazing stadium for the most celebrated event on the rodeo calendar,” said George Taylor, chief executive officer of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). “We are committed to delivering a spectacular event for our fans and we are thrilled to be in Texas for it.”

“We are excited for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to take place this year at Globe Life Field,” said Allen Montgomery, Vice President General Manager, Wrangler Western Wear. “The health and safety of the fans, cowboys and cowgirls is of the highest priority, and we are grateful to the participating organizations for their work to put together a comprehensive plan that will allow everyone to enjoy a safe and fun event.”

“We are honored that the PRCA selected Globe Life Field to host the 2020 Wrangler Nationals Final Rodeo and are thrilled to be a small part of bringing this world-class event back to Texas,” said Neil Leibman, chief operating officer of the Texas Rangers. Globe Life Field officials have emphasized that recommended health and safety standards are being met. Safety measures will include a mask requirement at all times while inside Globe Life Field and there will be additional hand washing and sanitizing stations throughout the building. 

Nearby Fort Worth will also play host to the Wrangler NFR 2020 experience, as the annual PRCA Convention will be held November 30 to December 3, 2020, in addition to the Cowboy Christmas and a slew of other fan-favorite events.

The NFR was born in Texas, as the first three years of the event were held at the Dallas State Fairgrounds beginning in 1959. Years later, the event moved to Las Vegas and has been staged at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV in Las Vegas since 1985. That venue is not available for live entertainment with fans this year due to coronavirus restrictions in Nevada.

In a survey earlier this summer, rodeo fans said overwhelmingly that they wanted an NFR venue that would accommodate fans.

Organizers pledge to preserve the NFR experience that fans love and that has necessitated a one-year move out of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Events issued a statement Wednesday about the move:

It is unfortunate that Las Vegas is unable to host the Wrangler NFR in 2020 with fans. We congratulate the PRCA for finding a home in 2020 that will allow fans to attend, which in turn generates prize money for the contestants. In exchange for allowing them to move their event in 2020, an extra year has been added to our contract. We look forward to hosting the Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas – December 2-11, 2021 – and continuing through 2025.