SAN ANTONIO – The world-renowned San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, awarded PRCA Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year for over a decade, set a new record for total Rodeo attendance in the AT&T Center for the 2018 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. Featuring top rodeo athletes, the best bucking stock in North America and a variety of performances from award-winning artists, 18 of 21 Rodeo performances were at capacity with more than 16,500 tickets sold.
Executive Director & CEO Keith Martin said, “Our fans showed patriotism, they sang, danced and had a wonderful time!” The crowds at every Rodeo performance were amazing, their cheers really engage our contestants, and contestants really respond to that. Bareback rider Mason Clements of Las Vegas, Nevada commented, “The atmosphere here is explosive … can’t get a better rodeo with better horses and fans.” Over 350 of the top rodeo athletes in the world compete in seven events. “Coming to San Antonio is my favorite time of the year … the hospitality and the crowds are great,” said Bareback rider Richmond Champion of The Woodlands, Texas. “Contestants dream about winning this rodeo,” 22 year old bull rider Josh Frost stated after securing his first Xtreme Bulls title.
Rainy and inclement weather caused attendance on the grounds to be down slightly from the previous two years, but it was still a very healthy count of over 1.9 million guests.
Out on the grounds and in the livestock barns, families interacted with thousands of animals. Martin added, “For many of our visitors, this is their only chance all year to interact with all kinds of livestock and get a hands-on experience with agriculture.” Within the world’s largest junior livestock show, there were a record number of over 20,000 entries. The Cross Bred Gilt Show was an added event that had a tremendous turnout. The Grand Champion Junior Market Steer sold for $110,000 with $80,000 auctioned for the Reserve Junior Market Steer, edging out last year. Currently at $6 million, total auction contributions have exceeded 2017 and are expected to climb with add-on contributions open until March 15, 2018. In Youth Rodeo, new events such as bull riding and bronc riding attracted patrons to see up and coming rodeo athletes. Patrons also got a glimpse of the Born to Buck breeding program inside Horse Discovery that showcased the lineage of rodeo animal athletes.
“We love that San Antonio loves the Rodeo, and we are so grateful for their support of our mission to educate the youth of Texas,” Martin commented. “We salute our wonderful volunteers, who are already talking about how to improve our Rodeo next year. We hope they are enjoying some well-deserved rest, and we thank them for their hard work and authentic San Antonio hospitality.”
In an effort to improve each year, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo added exciting family-friendly attractions and events for patrons. We also partnered with Bullfighters Only to host a freestyle bullfight during Xtreme Bulls that gave fans even more reason to cheer. These bullfighters competed for a $25,000 purse while PRCA rodeo athletes vied for over $1.7 million, the largest payout in a regular season rodeo.
“We are grateful to our corporate sponsors as well as the San Antonio and the surrounding communities who support our cause in various ways. This support allows us to give back in a meaningful way to help provide educational assistance for the youth of Texas. The total contribution amount will be announced at our annual meeting in May,” added Martin.
As reported in a Trinity University study, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo produces an economic impact for San Antonio of over $250 million.
The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo takes place February 7-24, 2019. It has received the PRCA Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year award for 13 consecutive years. Established in 1949, it has grown to be one of the largest and most prestigious single events in the city with over 1.9 million visitors entering the grounds in 2018. The success of the organization is attributed to over 6,000 volunteers who give countless hours to the organization. With community, donor and volunteer support, the organization has committed over $186 million to the youth of Texas through scholarships, grants, endowments, auctions, a calf scramble and show premiums. For more information, visit sarodeo.com.