ARLINGTON, Texas - A large event could boost Arlington's struggling entertainment district.
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is moving to from Las Vegas to Arlington in December. The rodeo will be the first major non-baseball event at the new Globe Life Field in Arlington since its opening.
A long tradition in Las Vegas, the finals moved to North Texas amid pandemic related challenges in Sin City.
A partnership between Arlington, Fort Worth and the governor’s office moved to quickly lasso the weeklong money-maker for the brand new ballpark, which has seen its own struggles with Major League Baseball’s abbreviated schedule and no fans in the stands. The rodeo could mean millions for the local economy.
“The pandemic has been very difficult here on Arlington needless to say. One of our main revenues is tourism,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “Of course, now to have the national finals rodeo coming in and us being able to get back to business, it’s a big boost not only for Arlington but for the entire Metroplex and the state.”
Fort Worth will play host to the rodeo’s fan experience event. The city also touts the Stockyards as an attractive draw for rodeo fans -- and points to recent major sporting events during the pandemic. That includes the PGA’s return at the Colonial and NASCAR’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 race in July at Texas Motor Speedway.
“If we can do that, think what we can do with the National Finals Rodeo here in our area. Its proven we can do it safe and healthy,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
Seats will be sold in groups of four with separation between the groups. Other safety protocols such as mobile ticketing, masks requirements and a no-bag policy will be put into place.
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price were joined by rodeo executives and the CEO of the Texas Rangers for Wednesday’s announcement.
The event runs from Dec. 3 – 14.