News & Notes from the Rodeo Trail, February 22

Denver delays renovation of National Western Center campus. Denver must delay some of its plans to renovate and expand the National Western Center campus as it wades through the financial troubles brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Denver Post reported recently. City officials plan to use $274 million in bonds – yet to be approved by the City Council – for long-planned early-phase upgrades and expansions to the National Western Center and the Colorado Convention Center. But later phases at the National Western Center including a new 10,000-seat arena, an exposition hall and a public market in the to-be-renovated 1909 Stadium Arena are on hold, Denver Chief Financial Officer Brendan Hanlon told the Post. City officials had planned for that later work, worth an estimated $528 million, to be paid for with a public-private partnership. In May, the city paused the idea, and on Feb. 16, Hanlon said straightforwardly that the price tag is “just a bridge too far right now” for the general fund, because the city’s share likely would have been hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years. Denver, however, remains committed to the entire plan for the center that has been in the works for years, according to Hanlon and Tykus Holloway, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center. City officials will need to decide in the coming months how best to fund the marquee work. Because funding wasn’t secure for those phases there was never a clear timeline for completion, said Jenna Espinoza, spokeswoman for Holloway’s office.

There’s optimism about 2021 Cheyenne Frontier Days happening. In the recently released 2020 Cheyenne Frontier Days report, CEO Tom Hirsig kept open the possibility of the event returning this summer after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the event that had run for 123 consecutive summers. “We are optimistic for 2021, this will be a year it takes the whole community to get on board to make Cheyenne Frontier Days happen,” Hirsig wrote in the report. “We have challenges but our organization and our community have a cowboy spirit that will never be defeated. We are looking forward to a great 125th celebration honoring the legendary Chris LeDoux.”

Organizers of the Reno Rodeo plan to have the event return this summer, and tickets went on sale Feb. 22. The Reno Rodeo was canceled last year due to the pandemic. The Reno Rodeo is set to return June 17–26, pending COVID-19 restrictions. Fans will have two options for purchasing tickets: Online at, ticket service and handling fees apply or in person at the Lawlor Events Center ticket office Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (PT). No handling charge or service fee. Masks, social distancing and capacity limitations will be required in accordance with local mandates.

Members of the Buffalo PRCA Championship Rodeo Committee participated in the third annual Kites on Ice Festival, Feb. 13. The festival provides a creative way to chase away the winter blues by embracing outdoor activities on frozen Buffalo Lake in Minnesota.
Minnesota’s oldest ProRodeo will celebrate its 66th anniversary June 24-26. Complimentary children’s rodeo tickets were handed out to attendees. Miss Rodeo Minnesota Samantha Sansevere and Miss Rodeo Buffalo Leah Andersen along with committee members answered rodeo questions and showed their roping skills.

Courtesy of PRCA

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