National Finals Rodeo moves from Las Vegas due to coronavirus |

National Finals Rodeo moves from Las Vegas due to coronavirus

The Associated Press
FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2016, file photo, Paul Eaves competes in the team roping event during the final night of the National Finals Rodeo, in Las Vegas. Officials announced Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, the National Finals Rodeo won't be held in Las Vegas this year due to coronavirus restrictions and will instead move to Arlington, Texas.
AP Photo/John Locher, File

LAS VEGAS — The marquee National Finals Rodeo is moving this year from Las Vegas to Arlington, Texas, due to coronavirus restrictions, event officials announced Wednesday.

Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and Texas Rangers officials said the Western horse sports championship will be held Dec. 3-12 at Globe Life Field, a retractable-roof stadium that opened this year and seats more than 40,000 people.

Texas has 50% occupancy guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and rodeo officials project up to 17,000 ticket-buyers daily — with some seats empty, masks required and hand-sanitizing stations added.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams calls the event the Super Bowl of rodeo.

Betsy Price, mayor of nearby Fort Worth, says Texas knows rodeo and they’ve roped a big one.

The event has been held since 1985 at the Thomas & Mack Center near the Las Vegas Strip and usually draws 17,000 fans each night for 10 nights. It’s sponsored by Wrangler.

Officials say they expect it’ll return to Las Vegas next year.

Las Vegas Events President Pat Christenson says no single event has a bigger impact on Las Vegas than the National Finals Rodeo.