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Las Vegas lassos NFR with contract extension

Updated December 4, 2023 - 6:22 pm

Las Vegas has roped the National Finals Rodeo into staying in Southern Nevada through at least 2035.

The Las Vegas Events Board of Trustees and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Board of Directors announced the extension Monday.

Financial details for the extended deal are expected to be released at a later date. The NFR’s current deal was set to expire in 2025.

“This is a truly historic day for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association,” PRCA CEO Tom Glause said. “This extension will benefit all aspects of the PRCA, including our contestants, stock contractors, committees, contract personnel and our fans. This commitment by Las Vegas preserves the momentum that we have established over the last 38 years.”

This year’s NFR starts Thursday and runs through Dec. 16 at the Thomas &Mack Center.

Las Vegas Events chairman Bill McBeath said he had been working with the PRCA on the extension for 1½ years.

“We have made this a priority for our organization to secure the world’s richest and most prestigious rodeo as a December fixture in our city,” McBeath said.

All parties involved with the rodeo have said they are content with how it operates at the Thomas &Mack, but the arena wasn’t named as the permanent home of the event over the length of the extension.

“We are happy with the Thomas &Mack Center as the home of the NFR,” LVE spokesman Michael Mack said in an email. “In the future, LVE will look at all new venues, along with the PRCA.”

The Oakland Athletics’ $1.5 billion, 33,000-seat ballpark and Oak View Group’s planned $1 billion, 20,000-seat NBA-ready arena project south of the Strip could be future options.

The NFR has sold out 360 consecutive performances, drawing the top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. The NFR also spurs concerts, special events and shopping opportunities such as Cowboy Christmas at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

One of the valley’s largest annual events, the 2022 NFR had an attendance of 173,350 for the 10 days of competition.

“For 38 years, the NFR has transformed our city and brought millions of rodeo fans to Las Vegas to share in the NFR experience,” LVE president Tim Keener said. “We have built a strong partnership with the PRCA and its contestants and feel that this new agreement will be beneficial to all parties.”

Las Vegas has had competition for the NFR in the past. Officials held off a bid by Osceola County, Florida, in 2013 to secure the NFR’s current extension.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on X.

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