Courtesy of NFR Experience
When rodeo fans arrive at the Thomas & Mack Center for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, they will have multiple entertainment options to enjoy prior to and following each rodeo performance. Known as the richest and most prestigious rodeo in the world, the Wrangler NFR runs from Thursday, Dec. 5 through Saturday, Dec. 14.
For ease of travel, rodeo fans have the option of utilizing the complimentary NFR Express Shuttle Bus service from 24 sponsor hotel properties and Cowboy Christmas. Upon arrival, fans will be greeted with rodeo-themed areas extending both outside the arena and within the confines of the building.
On the outer grounds of the Thomas & Mack Center, the ProRodeo Zone will greet fans with PRCA sponsor-activation tents and live music. As fans move toward the entrance, they will pass through the NFR Fan Zone, an area that includes additional sponsor tents, the official PRCA and Wrangler NFR merchandise trailer, food and beverage options, video screens and tables for attendees to congregate.
Further enhancing the fan experience, two outdoor video boards on the face of the arena will broadcast Wrangler NFR moments, highlight videos, interactive content and contestant interviews.
When rodeo fans enter the building, one of the arena’s highlights is the 36,000-square-foot hospitality area at the northwest end of the arena. During the Wrangler NFR, the space is known as The ‘Shoe and will feature interactive areas, a saloon, saddle displays and a 2,500-square-foot, glass-enclosed balcony with Strip views. The ‘Shoe will also be the site of CBS Sports Network’s rodeo pre-show. Access to The ‘Shoe is available to all fans with a Wrangler NFR ticket for that evening’s performance and also will feature the live broadcast of the rodeo each night, including a large-screen projection.
Meanwhile, on the arena’s southeast side opposite The ‘Shoe, fans can enjoy all the activities and amenities of the returning Cowboy Corral, which takes over the adjacent Cox Pavilion with live music, a huge bar and plenty of space to sit and relax or kick up your heels. The live entertainment will include Andy Griggs & D’em Boyz playing each night prior to the Wrangler NFR starting at 5:30 p.m. Following the NFR, the Cowboy Corral will stay jumping with performances by The Britt Stokes Band (Dec. 5-10) and Sean Curtis and the Divide (Dec. 11-14).
Adjacent to the Cowboy Corral entrance, Cowboy Channel will again host Rodeo Las Vegas, featuring Amy Wilson and Justin McKee.
Sitting right outside of Cowboy Corral is the Bull & Barrel Saloon, featuring its own bar and food service and the Hall of Champions with tributes to former NFR champions.
The entertainment will continue throughout the evening as fans begin to settle into their seats. Prior to each performance, there will be an opening act, followed by the singing of the National Anthem. The attention will then turn to the dirt, as the best contestants in the world test their skills and seek the coveted Gold Buckle, awarded to the world champions.
Known as the richest and most prestigious rodeo in the world, the Wrangler NFR attracts the Top 15 PRCA contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and bull riding, plus barrel racing, to compete for a share of the $10 million purse and the coveted PRCA World Championship Gold Buckles. In 2018, the event had a total attendance of 169,171 over the 10 days of competition and has sold out more than 300 consecutive performances.