SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is moving forward with plans for an event in 2021 but it’s not going to look like the rodeos of years past.
Rodeo ticket sales are limited due to spacing requirements and according to Ticketmaster.com, only verified resale tickets appear to be available for any given event.
Cody Davenport executive director and CEO of the San Antonio Rodeo and rodeo president Rusty Collier sat down last week to discuss some of the details of the event in a Facebook Live.
Both men discussed getting back to the roots of the rodeo which was originally held at the Freeman Coliseum from 1950 to 2003 before moving to the AT&T Center after it was built in 2002.
Join us LIVE! Hear from our leaders Cody & Rusty to get the latest updates on the 2021 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo!Posted by San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo on Tuesday, December 15, 2020
It is a one-year experiment Davenport said with his fingers crossed. “There are downsides,” he said, referring to reduced ticket capacity due to the move from the AT&T center to the Freeman Coliseum which he called “not an ideal scenario.”
Next year, the rodeo is scheduled to take place from Feb. 11-28 at the Freeman Coliseum rather than the AT&T Center with the official rodeo kick-off on Friday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. The San Antonio rodeo traditionally kicks off on a Thursday.
“This will be more of a rodeo-focused event and less entertainment-focused,” Davenport said. “Major acts are not touring and there are too many unknowns.”
Other large Texas rodeos have altered or canceled their plans for 2021 including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo which will return in May 2021 instead of the usual March dates and the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo which has been canceled altogether due to concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
“Unfortunately, a lot of other rodeos don’t have the luxury that we have with a second venue,” said Davenport. “Some of them had to make the tough decisions to stand down.”
Both Davenport and Collier said they wanted to give a platform to people who depend on the rodeo for income and feel fortunate that the rodeo didn’t have to be canceled. “Despite the downsides, it will be a unique experience,” said Davenport. Collier noted that the Freeman Coliseum venue change will provide “a more intimate setting than the AT&T Center.”
In terms of the pandemic, both men were adamant that attendees stick to the health and safety protocols outlined by county officials.
Collier said rodeo officials “have worked extremely close with local health officials” in addition to a special rodeo medical committee that is helping implement the safety protocols. Expect temperature checkpoints if you were lucky enough to score a ticket.
“We were bound and determined to stick true to our mission, take care of these kids and move forward,” and in order to do that “we need to respect what’s happening,” Davenport said.
“If you come out here and somebody asks you to put a mask on, don’t take it personal,” said Collier who noted that rodeo officials gave their word that they would follow health and safety protocols. “And our word means something.”
Davenport did provide some good news despite the limited capacity of the rodeo for 2021 - there are around 17,500 entries for the livestock portion of the rodeo which he said is on par with the last three years. “We’re going to have a lot of kids that are participating.”
Since 1984, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo has awarded $223 million to Texas youth via scholarships, grants, endowments, western art, junior livestock auctions, show premiums and the calf scramble program.
Scholarships are a major part of the rodeo for students looking to attend college and 40% of scholarships are awarded through the livestock, horse show and junior contests.
More than 21,200 students have been benefited from scholarships from the San Antonio rodeo in 2020 alone, according to Sides, who said that an average of 550 new scholars are added to the program each year.
The rodeo, livestock and horse show schedules for 2021 have been released are available below:
- Rodeo schedule- https://www.sarodeo.com/p/rodeo
- Livestock schedule- https://www.sarodeo.com/p/about/livestock-show
- Horse Show schedule- https://www.sarodeo.com/p/about/horse-show
The men confirmed that there will be another Charreada event on Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. after the success of last year’s event.
Charreada San Antonio is all about horsemanship skills and what riders wear. Read about last year’s Charreada here.