The big talk outside of the arena these days is the move of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to Texas for the year of 2020. The main reason for this move is that the restrictions in Las Vegas were going to make things very difficult to happen as they have in the past. We have all had many changes in our lives this past year and this is one for the record book.
Let it be clear that Las Vegas has been more than helpful in making sure that they will help in any way possible to make sure the Texas WNFR is a success. We have to remember that prior to the Finals being in Vegas during the month of December, the city was pretty much slow through the whole month until New Year’s Eve. The WNFR has made Vegas a December destination for many and it has been rewarding for the contestants, Vegas and the fans. It is sad that this year couldn’t take place as normal, however with the restrictions placed on the facilities within the state of Nevada, it was going to be a real hindrance. Those of you who have been to the Thomas and Mack in the past, visualize the corridor at the Thomas and Mack pre-rodeo with social distancing, – not!
I am sure that the state of Texas will do things right and go above and beyond to make this year a success. Nobody can say that Texas hospitality is lacking. In the short time that they have had to put all this together they will make every effort to make it first class. They have received much help from Las Vegas Events and the PRCA to assist in the success. Granted the payoff will not be as lucrative dollar-wise for the contestants as it was in Vegas, but the points will be the same towards world titles.
I think something the fans and contestants are going to miss the most is the 24/7 hospitality that Vegas has to offer. Like when the rodeo is over where does one go to eat and play? I’m sure Texas will be hosting some after-parties for the buckle presentations and the like, but there won’t be near the eating establishments able to handle the numbers like Vegas can. I can remember the old days back in OKC when it was a chore to find food after the rodeo and sometimes before. Granted it was back in the time when there weren’t near the chain restaurants there are today that keep longer hours of operation.
So far I have been very impressed with the coverage of the move and praise the Cowboy Channel for keeping everyone up to date. It is so nice that our industry now has a source to keep the news updated as to the happenings. My Resistol’s off to them and all involved. Things will be forever changing right up to the start of this year’s NFR and I’m sure it will be fine even though it will not be the same as Vegas. Let’s face it that Vegas has the source to make things happen and have for many years.
The South Point will again be the home for the World Series Of Team Roping Finale and will be hosting viewing parties of the WNFR each night. For ropers who have gone there in past years, I don’t think they will find many changes as the finely tuned World Series will once again provide a first class event. The South Point always goes above and beyond to accommodate the ropers and this year will introduce some new improvements to the property to make it even more user friendly.
One of the main things that may change this year due to the restrictions are the trade shows connected with the Finals. At the South Point I understand that there will be vendors in the arena area but not a separate gift show in other parts of the property. As for Texas they will be having cowboy gift shows throughout the Fort Worth and Arlington area and will be conducted under COVID guidelines so one will still be able to shop in Vegas as well as Texas.
From watching how the arena is to be laid out in Texas, I must say that I am impressed and look for the timed events to be much better with far more arena for the talent of the contestants to be displayed. I am sure the first couple of performances will be setting the pace and letting all involved get the feel for it, and then look out.
The best of luck to all involved in making this year’s WNFR happen and may it prove to be a positive thing in our industry for this weird year of 2020. This year has been so trying on many in our industry and in some cases has completely put some out of business, hopefully to return in better times in the future.
For many of you attending your Finals in different roping organizations, we here at Ropers Sports News wish you the best of luck.