Rodeo dirt fills AT&T Center

Prep­arations underway for 2012 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

SAN ANTONIO - The AT&T Center is getting ready for the 2012 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. 


On Monday morning, truckloads of dirt were delivered to transform the home of the Spurs and Rampage into a rodeo ring.

Rodeo Arena Director Guy Elliott said preparing a rodeo ring is similar to preparing the field for the Super Bowl.

"It's a very important part of the safety of the athletes," said Elliott. "You have to find a fine degree where animals are comfortable and the contestants are comfortable with the dirt."

The base has to be 10 to 12 inches deep. It takes more than 2,100 tons of dirt to fill the ring.

To purchase and ship that amount of dirt would cost between $20,000 and $25,000 a year. 

However, in order to save money, the dirt is recycled.

It was bought in 1988 and is stored on the grounds of the AT&T Center.

"It's out here on our back lot and we keep it covered and we go through and screen it every year," said Elliott.

It takes 8 hours to unload and level the dirt. Crews monitor it daily, and add sand or water as needed to make sure it's the right consistency.

"I hope people, when they come to see the rodeo, will take a look at the dirt and think about how important it is because it's just not dirt," said Elliott.

The Rodeo runs Feb. 9 through 26. 

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