When rodeo fans arrive at the Thomas & Mack Center for the return of 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. 7 through Saturday, Dec. 16.
For ease of travel, rodeo fans have the option of utilizing the complimentary NFR Express Shuttle Bus service from 26 sponsor hotel properties and The Cowboy Channel 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 StubHub Fan Zone, an area that includes additional sponsor tents, the official ProRodeo 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. The all-new Cowboy Channel Bar will feature a saloon and a 2,500-square-foot, glass-enclosed balcony with Strip views. The Cowboy Channel will host the NFR Pre-Show starting at 5 p.m. and the NFR Post-Show immediately following the end of the performance each night. An additional highlight will be an all-encompassing exhibit detailing the 37-year history of the NFR in Las Vegas. Access to The Cowboy Channel Bar 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 Cowboy Channel Bar, 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 pre and post-event performances by Will Jones (Dec. 7-9), Mae Estes (Dec. 10-11), Old Hickory (Dec. 12-14) and Wyatt McCubbin (Dec. 15-16). Doors open at 4 pm with live music starting at 4:45 pm.
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.
The Wrangler NFR attracts the top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding to compete for a share of the increased purse and the coveted PRCA Gold Buckle. In 2022, the event had a total attendance of 173,350 over the 10 days of competition at the Thomas & Mack Center and has sold out more than 350 consecutive performances in Las Vegas.
For more information on the Wrangler NFR, please visit NFRexperience.com or through social media at @LasVegasNFR and use #WranglerNFR. For the latest ProRodeo news and Wrangler NFR coverage, please visit nfrstreaming.com or through social media @PRCA_ProRodeo.