FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 8, 2015 – (Colorado Springs, CO) — The National Little Britches Rodeo Association (NLBRA) and Lazy E Arena are proud to announce a new partnership! The NLBRA Executive Board has selected the Lazy E Arena, located in Guthrie, Oklahoma, to host the 2016-2020 NLBRA Finals. “We are extremely proud to be selected as the host facility for the NLBRA Finals and look forward to growing our partnership,” said Dan Wall, General Manager of Lazy E Arena. “We are excited to welcome NLBRA and its members into the Lazy E family.”
The change in venues comes after an 11-year run at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, Colorado. The NLBRA found a home in Pueblo beginning in 2004 and brought 545 youth rodeo contestants that year. Since the inaugural year, the event has grown to nearly double the contestant base, with nearly 1,000 youth rodeo contestants competing in 2014. “Moving the NLBRA Finals to Pueblo was a positive for the NLBRA, said Kimber Solberg, Executive Director. “The Pueblo community provided an opportunity for the NLBRA to produce a quality Finals for many years; however, since moving to Pueblo in 2004, the NLBRA contestant membership base has grown by 33% and some of our needs have changed.” The 2015 NLBRA Finals will be held July 20-25, 2015 in Pueblo.
Although the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo is relocating, the NLBRA is working with Pueblo and four other communities across the United States to host NLBRA Qualifier Rodeos, where the goal is to have 300-400 contestants competing in a three-day rodeo event. Solberg continued, “Over the years, we’ve built a strong bond with Pueblo. I can only compare it to a child going off to college. It’s hard to let them go, but you know it’s the best move. And like kids going off to college, you don’t lose them, the relationship just changes. The NLBRA certainly intends to keep Little Britches Rodeo alive and well in Pueblo, Colorado.”
The Lazy E Arena opened its doors in December 1984 in time for that season’s National Finals Steer Roping to coincide with the National Finals Rodeo, which took place in downtown Oklahoma City. The grand plan orchestrated by then owner E.K. Gaylord III was that the two Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association championships take place at the same time in the same metropolitan area, and the plan worked – for one year.
But rodeo and many other championship quality events found a comfortable home in the confines of the Lazy E Arena. Since its inception, the building has hosted world champions, world championships and personalities galore. The main arena floor is 440 feet-by-160 feet, making it the largest indoor rodeo arena in the world and home of the Timed Event Championship. “This is the only indoor arena that allows us, the NLBRA, to produce our Finals with 3 arenas running simultaneously for the viewing audience,” said Kimber Solberg, NLBRA Executive Director.
In October 2013 the property was purchased by the McKinney Family from Midland, Texas. The Family has committed to maintaining the Lazy E as the World’s premier western entertainment facility. Many updates and renovations are taking place at the Arena which will only enhance the lure of the Lazy E.