By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, faced with restrictions because of the coronavirus, is moving from Las Vegas to Texas for this December’s performance, the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association announced this week.
The Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, home of the Texas Rangers, will host the National Finals Rodeo from Dec. 3-12, marking the first time a non-baseball event has been held at the park.
The usual venue for the NFR, the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, is not available for use this year because of coronavirus restrictions in place in Nevada which limit crowds at indoor events to no more than 50.
The Globe Life Field can seat 40,300 people and under Texas health restrictions, crowds at indoor events must total no more than half of a facility’s seating capacity. The Thomas & Mack Center’s capacity is slightly less than 20,000.
Organizers of the 2020 NFR confirmed the rodeo will comply with all health and safety protocols for attendees.
“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 (PRCA), said in a news release. “We are committed to delivering a spectacular event for our fans and we are thrilled to be in Texas for it.”
Safety measures will include a the required use of facemasks at all times while inside the stadium. There will also be additional hand washing and sanitizing stations throughout the building.
Seats will be sold in groups of four, with separation between groups. Contact-limiting measures, such as delivering tickets to telephones and other mobile devices, will be implemented throughout the event.
There will also be metal detector screenings and a no bag policy at entries on performance nights.
“We are honored that the PRCA selected Globe Life Field to host the 2020 Wrangler Nationals Final Rodeo and are thrilled to be a small part of bringing this world-class event back to Texas,” said Neil Leibman, chief operating officer of the Texas Rangers, in a news release.
The NFR was born in Texas and the first three years of the event were held at the Dallas State Fairgrounds beginning in 1959.
Years later, the event moved to Las Vegas and has been staged at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV in Las Vegas since 1985.
Tickets for the rodeo will go on sale to the public on Sept. 25. via texasrangers.com/NFR.