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Mission & History
The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo has grown to be one of the largest and most prestigious single events in San Antonio with over one and a half million visitors entering the grounds each year. S.A.L.E. provides financial support to Texas youth as the result of support from patrons, donors, corporate partners and many hours of hard work by committed S.A.L.E. volunteers.
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Mission:
"A volunteer organization that emphasizes agriculture and education to develop the youth of Texas."
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo History:
In 1854, in an emerging Texas cattle town, history was made when one of the first ever Texas Agricultural Fairs was held in San Antonio. In the following years, many other fairs and expositions came to San Antonio and all encountered the same problem, inadequate facilities to accommodate their needs. It was evident South Texas was in dire need of facilities to serve as a showplace for a livestock exposition.
This cry for greater accommodations was heard in the early 1940s by Joe Freeman, the man who began the movement which eventually gave birth to the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum. Freeman's prime interests were youth and the agricultural and livestock industries. His dream was to build a coliseum to be used for a number of events, but specifically, a livestock exposition for the youth of Texas. After assembling a number of volunteers, ranging from cattlemen to sports-minded citizens, the movement began to construct this multi-purpose coliseum.
1948 Construction on the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum began.
1950 On February 17, a landmark event took place with the first Annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. The first exposition met with unqualified success, entertaining more than a quarter of a million visitors, an unheard of record for an opening show.
1981 San Antonio Livestock Exposition, Inc. (S.A.L.E.) receives status as a 501 c 3 - a non-profit, charitable entity/organization
1984 The S.A.L.E. Executive Committee established the S.A.L.E. Scholarship Fund to assist 4-H and FFA students pursuing a college degree in ag-related studies. Fifteen, four-year scholarships totaling $90,000 were awarded to students entering Texas colleges in the fall of 1984.
1999 The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Hall of Fame was established. Joe Freeman, Harry Freeman and Mary Nan West were the hall's first inductees.
2003 Another milestone year in the history of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. For the first time since 1950, the rodeo & concert performance was not held in the Freeman Coliseum but in the brand new, state-of-the-art facility, the SBC Center. (The SBC Center is now known as the AT&T Center) The SBC Center, a first class arena with outstanding amenities, provided over 6,000 more seats than were previously available in the Freeman Coliseum. The Freeman Coliseum then became the home to hundreds of commercial vendors providing the perfect venue for rodeo patrons ready to shop.
2005 The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo received its first recognition as the PRCA's Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year.
2008 The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo was inducted into the PRCA Hall of Fame.
2012 To date, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo educational commitment exceeds $123 million with $10.1 million committed in 2012 in the form of scholarships, grants, endowments, auctions, a calf scramble program and show premiums paid to youth.
- 2013 To date, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo educational commitment exceeds $134 million with $11.3 committed in 2013 in the form of scholarships, grants, endowments, auctions, a calf scramble program and show premiums paid to youth.