Arlington’s Globe Life Field is set to host the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this December, the first time since 1985 that the event will not be held at Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center.
The change in venue was initiated due to COVID-19 restrictions that would prevent any fans from attending in Nevada.
Globe Life Field provides an alternative because of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide ordinance allowing 50% fan capacity at sports venues.
Under the capacity restrictions, Globe Life Field will be able to accommodate about 20,000 fans.
While DFW lacks the casino and nightlife attractions of Las Vegas, fans are still eager to attend.
Josie Ferrante, a senior education major and avid rodeo fan, said she was delighted to hear of the venue change.
“It’s not going to be the same, it’s not going to have the same type of vibe, but I think it’s going to be great,” she said.
Ashley Quintilone, a TCU alumna who works in player relations for the Texas Rangers, said they are eager to host the NFR at Globe Life Field.
“This will be the first event that we will have fans in our seating. We are taking every precaution to make sure everything is safe and healthy,” said Quintilone.
Texas residents are especially excited about the relocation of the venue due to its proximity.
Conner West, a TCU alumna and Fort Worth resident, hasn’t been able to attend the NFR before because of the distance to Las Vegas, she said.
Katie Firmin, a Fort Worth resident, said she feels more inclined to go now that the NFR will be hosted in her backyard.
Fans are also looking toward the benefits that will be reaped by the increased foot traffic to DFW. Last year, the NFR brought more than $175 million in local revenue to the city of Las Vegas.
“I think it’s going to bring a lot of people to DFW, and I’m interested to see how hotels and other businesses can accommodate for that amount of people. I think it will be great for tourists,” said Whitney Conrad, a Texas resident.
The event will be held Dec. 3-12. For more information, visit the National Finals Rodeo’s website.