The Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo 2020 is set to proceed as scheduled, taking place from Monday, June 29, through Sunday, July 5, with some notable changes in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In an agreement between rodeo general manager J.C. Trujillo and Governor Doug Ducey, the seating capacity at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds, located at 840 Rodeo Drive, will be limited to just 25%. This decision ensures that the legendary “World’s Oldest Rodeo” continues its uninterrupted 132-year history, even with a reduced audience.
To comply with social distancing guidelines, the 133rd annual rodeo’s eight performances, including those on June 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m., July 1, 2, and 3 at 7:30 p.m., and July 4 at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., as well as July 5 at 1:30 p.m., will require audience members to maintain safe distances from one another. Tickets for the July 3 and 4 performances are already sold out, but seats are available for the other shows, according to Trujillo.
To ensure social distancing, the grandstand will be divided into reserved sections, allowing for a comfortable viewing experience while adhering to safety measures. Typically accommodating over 5,000 spectators, the grandstand will operate at a reduced capacity this year.
Additionally, the skybox, with a capacity of about 400 people on the east side of the rodeo grounds, will remain closed to further enable social distancing and vendor spacing.
Behind the scenes, rodeo staff will wear face coverings during each performance, while spectators are encouraged to make their own decisions regarding mask usage. Hand sanitizers and signage will be readily available, and after each performance, the grandstand will undergo thorough sanitization.
For those unable to attend the rodeo in person, every performance will be televised on The Cowboy Channel and The Cowboy Channel Plus. Viewers can purchase a viewing package for $9.99 per month to watch on their TVs or streaming devices.
For more information, contact 402-991-6290 or visit thecowboychannel.com or cowboychannelplus.com.
Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo officials collaborated with Yavapai County Community Health Services, the City of Prescott, and the Governor’s office to establish these new safety guidelines.
Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli played a crucial role in reaching the 25% capacity agreement. He acknowledged the dedicated efforts of the Frontier Days Rodeo committee and its president, Chris Graff, who worked closely with health authorities and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) to ensure the rodeo’s safe execution.
The “World’s Oldest Rodeo,” which dates back to 1888, will maintain its traditional events in 2020. These include professional steer wrestling, bareback riding, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping, women’s barrel racing, and bull riding.
Scheduled specialty acts feature the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls, Broken Spoke Clydesdales, and barrelman Mark Swingler. Quirt Hunt and Luke Kraut will serve as bullfighters. The renowned announcer and ProRodeo Hall of Famer Randy Corley, along with stock contractor Kirsten Vold of the Vold Rodeo Company, will also make their return.
Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus, the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo 2020 reached its contestant capacity, with only the cowpunchers bronc riding event being canceled.
Mayor Mengarelli emphasized the rodeo’s significance, not only to Prescott but also to Yavapai County, representing a vital celebration of American freedom and heritage.