SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo will still go on next year - despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Event organizers announced the news today, saying the rodeo and entertainment portions will be held in the Freeman Coliseum in order to comply with safety standards.
The popular event is set for February 11-28, 2021. Organizers said announced today the Junior Livestock Show will continue to host exhibitors from throughout the state to compete in agriculture events. And the carnival will also be held.
“Our mission of helping educate the youth of Texas is at the forefront of all that we do, and holding our Rodeo, livestock show and competitive events is critical for educating future generations,” Executive Director and CEO Cody Davenport said. “In order to comply with current health and safety guidelines, the Freeman Coliseum is the most viable option to hold our event while ensuring we fulfill our mission.”
Davenport said more information will be shared about the 2021 event in the coming months on the organization's website.
A pop-up disclaimer on the site says: "As we continue planning for the 2021 Rodeo, your safety and fulfilling our mission is top priority! Event options are being evaluated for several scenarios and we remain in constant communication with officials to adhere to guidelines. Stay tuned here for more info."
Communication and Public Relations Manager Lauren Sides said they'll take added precautions to keep people from getting sick. That's part of the reason why the rodeo is moving next door to the Freeman Coliseum.
"Really the Freeman Coliseum, financially for us, is the best option," Sides said. "Especially with all the enhanced safety measures."
She said a more affordable venue means they can do more through their programs and scholarships for the children who come out each year.
"We have so many kids that we try to help educate," Sides said. "The Freeman Coliseum is our best bet."
Bexar County Nelson Wolff said a lot can change in the next few months but as long as the positivity rate continues to decline, he'll remain optimistic about the event.
"Hopefully, everything is going to go right with the precautions they're putting in place," Wolff said. "And I think they'll do an outstanding job with that."
A filed hospital is currently set up at the Freeman Coliseum, although it hasn't been used much.
"I don't think anybody's ever used it, other than the time where the people came here from the hurricane," Wolff said.
Wolff doesn't expect it to conflict with rodeo plans if it's still there by next year.
"We've got 350,000 square feet of space out there," Wolff said. "They haven't brought that up to me as a concern."
A ticket to the rodeo includes access to the stock show complete with cows, pigs, chickens, sheep and goats, shopping booths, family activities like the petting zoo and pony rides and educational exhibits to teach farm-to-table practices.
Since the event started, almost $200 million has been awarded in scholarships.