National Finals Rodeo moving from Las Vegas to Texas for 2020

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A young fan cheers on a competitor during the 10th and final night of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Saturday, December 14, 2019, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. (Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau)

Published Wed, Sep 9, 2020 (10:35 a.m.)

Updated Wed, Sep 9, 2020 (11:24 a.m.)

The National Finals Rodeo is leaving Las Vegas for one year for Texas because of the pandemic.

The event, which annually brings $200 million to the area during a slow time for tourism around the holidays, will shift to Arlington’s Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers, from Dec. 3-12.

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

The finals were scheduled for the Thomas & Mack Center, where the event has been held every year since 1987. But with Nevada’s COVID-19 crowd restrictions capped at 50 attendees and Texas’ standards more loose, association officials made the change. The rodeo will return to Las Vegas Dec. 2-11, 2021, and is contracted to be contested here through 2025.

Seats for the Texas event will be sold in groups of four with separation between groups.

Nearby Fort Worth will also host the Wrangler NFR 2020 experience and the Cowboy Christmas retail expo.

“We are a rodeo city and we’ve roped a big one,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said in a statement. “The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is an incredible win for our region and another example of how Fort Worth can host major events safely during this unprecedented time.”

In exchange for signing off on allowing the rodeo to move for 2020, an extra year was added to the contract with Las Vegas Events, officials said.

"It is unfortunate that Las Vegas is unable to host the Wrangler NFR in 2020 with fans," Las Vegas Events said in a statement. "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."

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