The National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is the most prestigious rodeo event in the world, featuring the best of the best in the sport from bareback riding to bull riding. The event has a rich history and tradition, dating back to 1959 when it was first held in Dallas, Texas. In 1985, the NFR moved to its current home in Las Vegas, Nevada, where it has been held every year since1.
Event Dates and Schedule
The NFR is typically held in early December and lasts for ten days. In 2023, the event will take place from December 7st to December 16th. The schedule for the event includes a variety of competitions, including bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. Each night, the top 15 contestants in each event compete for a chance to win the coveted NFR championship. See Schedule Page
Venue Information and Seating Options
The NFR is held at the Thomas & Mack Center, located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The arena has a seating capacity of over 17,000 and offers a variety of seating options, including box seats, reserved seats, and general admission.
Tickets and Pricing Details
Tickets for the NFR can be purchased through the official website or through authorized ticket sellers. Prices vary depending on the seating option and the night of the event. It is recommended to purchase tickets in advance, as the event often sells out.
Rodeo Competitions and Highlights
The NFR features a variety of competitions, each with its own unique highlights. Some of the most popular events include:
- Bareback Riding: Riders must stay on a bucking horse for eight seconds, using only one hand to hold onto a leather rigging that is cinched around the horse's girth.
- Bull Riding: Riders must stay on a bucking bull for eight seconds, using only one hand to hold onto a rope that is tied around the bull's chest.
- Barrel Racing: Riders must navigate a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels as quickly as possible, without knocking any of the barrels over.
- Saddle Bronc Riding: Riders must stay on a bucking horse for eight seconds, using a specialized saddle that has a high back and no horn.
Entertainment and Activities for Families
In addition to the rodeo competitions, the NFR offers a variety of entertainment and activities for families. The Cowboy Christmas Gift Show is a popular attraction, featuring over 400 vendors selling western-themed gifts and apparel. The Rodeo Live Stage offers live music, autograph sessions with rodeo stars, and other special events. The Junior NFR is a youth rodeo event that allows young riders to compete in a variety of events.
Where to Eat and Drink Near the Rodeo
Las Vegas offers a variety of dining options, from casual to fine dining. Some popular restaurants near the Thomas & Mack Center include:
- The Steak House: Located in the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino, this restaurant offers classic steakhouse fare in a cozy atmosphere.
- Tacos El Gordo: This popular taco spot offers authentic Mexican street food, including tacos, quesadillas, and tortas.
- In-N-Out Burger: This fast-food chain is known for its fresh burgers and fries, and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Accommodation Options for Rodeo-Goers
Las Vegas offers a variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly motels to luxury hotels. Some popular hotels near the Thomas & Mack Center include:
- The Westin Las Vegas Hotel & Spa: This hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites, as well as a full-service spa and fitness center.
- The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: This iconic hotel features rock-and-roll themed rooms, a casino, and a variety of dining and entertainment options.
- The MGM Grand: This massive hotel offers over 6,000 rooms, as well as a casino, multiple restaurants, and a variety of entertainment options.
Getting Around Las Vegas During the Event
Las Vegas offers a variety of transportation options, including taxis, ride-sharing services, and public transportation. The RTC Transit system offers bus service throughout the city, including a route that stops at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Safety Tips and Guidelines for Attendees
The NFR is a safe and family-friendly event, but it is important to take precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Some tips for attendees include:
- Stay hydrated: Las Vegas can be hot and dry, so it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Wear comfortable shoes: The Thomas & Mack Center is a large venue, so comfortable shoes are a must.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Las Vegas can be a busy and crowded city, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings.
Meet the Rodeo Stars: Rider Profiles
The NFR features some of the best rodeo riders in the world, each with their own unique story and background. Some of the top riders to watch in 2022 include:
- Sage Kimzey: This bull rider has won six consecutive world championships and is considered one of the best in the sport.
- Hailey Kinsel: This barrel racer won the world championship in 2018 and is known for her lightning-fast times.
- Tuf Cooper: This tie-down roper has won four world championships and is known for his speed and accuracy.
Memorable Moments from Past Las Vegas Rodeos
The NFR has a rich history of memorable moments, from record-breaking performances to unexpected upsets. Some of the most memorable moments from past Las Vegas rodeos include:
- Ty Murray's record-breaking seventh all-around world championship win in 1998
- Trevor Brazile's eight all-around world championship wins, the most in rodeo history
- Mary Burger's surprise win in the barrel racing event at age 68, making her the oldest world champion in NFR history
How to Purchase Official Rodeo Merchandise
Official NFR merchandise can be purchased at the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show or through the official website. Merchandise includes clothing, hats, and other western-themed gifts and souvenirs.
Planning Your Ultimate Rodeo Experience
Attending the NFR can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and with a little planning, you can make the most of your trip. Some tips for planning your ultimate rodeo experience include:
- Book your accommodations early: Hotels near the Thomas & Mack Center can fill up quickly, so it is important to book your accommodations early.
- Purchase your tickets in advance: The NFR often sells out, so it is recommended to purchase your tickets in advance.
- Plan your itinerary: Las Vegas offers a variety of attractions and activities, so it is important to plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your trip.
When is the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas?
The National Finals Rodeo will take place from December 7th to December 16th, 2023.
Where is the National Finals Rodeo held?
The National Finals Rodeo is held at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
How can I purchase tickets for the National Finals Rodeo?
General public tickets for the National Finals Rodeo can be purchased through the official website or through authorized ticket sellers. The sale dates for this year are yet to be announced.
What are the ticket options for the National Finals Rodeo?
The National Finals Rodeo offers a variety of ticket options, including mini packages, single sessions, and NFR Access ONLY tickets. The NFR Access ONLY ticket provides access to the Thomas & Mack Center, but not a seat. It provides access to all the experiences at the NFR – Cowboy Corral, Aces High – Saloon & Exhibit, Bull & Barrel Saloon and ProRodeo Zone – and then allows you to watch the rodeo on the TV screens in the designated areas.
What are the events and activities at the National Finals Rodeo?
The National Finals Rodeo features a variety of competitions, including bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. In addition to the rodeo competitions, the NFR offers a variety of entertainment and activities for families, including the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show, the Rodeo Live Stage, and the Junior NFR.
Where can I find the schedule of events for the National Finals Rodeo?
The schedule of events for the National Finals Rodeo can be found on the official website.
What are some safety tips for attending the National Finals Rodeo?
Some safety tips for attending the National Finals Rodeo include staying hydrated, wearing comfortable shoes, and being aware of your surroundings.
How can I purchase official National Finals Rodeo merchandise?
Official National Finals Rodeo merchandise can be purchased at the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show or through the official website.
What is the history of the National Finals Rodeo?
The National Finals Rodeo has a rich history, dating back to 1959 when it was first held in Dallas, Texas. In 1985, the NFR moved to its current home in Las Vegas, Nevada, where it has been held every year since.
How can I plan my ultimate National Finals Rodeo experience?
To plan your ultimate National Finals Rodeo experience, it is recommended to book your accommodations early, purchase your tickets in advance, and plan your itinerary to make the most of your trip