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Letter from Las Vegas Events President Pat Christenson
COVID-19 has dramatically altered the landscape of professional sports, including pro rodeo (PRCA). It is frustrating to sit on the sidelines waiting for the virus to take its course. However, I want to assure all rodeo fans that Las Vegas is diligently planning for its reopening. While we are not in control of when we can resume fully attended events, we are developing guidelines that ensure not only your safety while you are in Las Vegas but that our city does not become another hub of the virus.
Six weeks ago, we created a committee made up of representatives from Las Vegas venues and events. The Vegas Event COVID-19 Committee (VECC) has 45 active members and meets weekly to discuss creating guidelines that we can work with local and state officials to ensure events in Las Vegas are safe.
The VECC’s plan, which is being crafted based on research and input from leading industry professionals, local and state government and medical experts, will focus on guidelines that safeguard staff, guests, officials and participants.
There are two reasons I am optimistic about hosting the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the 36th time in Las Vegas. The first is our event is in December. MLB, the NFL, NHL and NBA will all be challenged with addressing guidelines for hosting sold-out events considering the challenges of properly protecting fans. We will have the benefit of their events opening before December.
The second reason is you, the fan. We conducted a survey to identify the rodeo fans’ affinity to return to attending rodeo events and specifically the National Finals Rodeo. I would like to share those results with you. Las Vegas Events is constantly asking our fans for feedback. Many of you have participated in our post-NFR rodeo surveys. Those surveys average between 5,000-6,000 respondents. When we asked you about this year’s NFR, close to 17,000 responded. What we heard loud and clear is that you are ready to come to Vegas.
The rodeo industry and Las Vegas has been hit equally hard by COVID-19. We want to let you know that we are working diligently to create a plan that assures our fans and local and state officials that we are ready for the NFR and all the experiences that surround it.
Until then, stay safe and isolated as possible to ensure this virus takes its course and allows us to get on with our lives.
Las Vegas Events