The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo wrapped up a triumphant return last week, brushing aside an eruption of “Stock Show weather” that featured – what else? – ice, snow and frigid temperatures. A little bad weather at Stock Show time, after all, is almost as traditional as the legendary event itself.
After missing 2021 because of the pandemic, the Stock Show and its legions of fans were not about to be deterred by a blast of winter.
“The effect was slight, considering the ice and cold temperatures occurred in the middle of the week when our crowds are typically smallest,” said FWSSR President and General Manager Brad Barnes. “The bulk of the livestock exhibitors had arrived safely on Monday and Tuesday and were able to easily care for their animals when the weather event occurred. Rodeo attendance was off on Wednesday evening; otherwise attendance was what we’d hoped for.”
The 2022 Stock Show & Rodeo ran from Jan. 14 through Feb. 5 and drew 1,202,200 visitors, down from the 1,267,000 who attended in 2020 but still a spectacular turnout after a two-year hiatus.
“We’re humbled by the support the Stock Show received from our guests, exhibitors and competitors,” Barnes said. “The crowds seemed happy to be back at the Stock Show – I saw lots of smiling faces – and we’re honored that our guests rewarded us with their presence and support. The outcome exceeded our hopes and wishes.”
Bob Jameson, CEO of Visit Fort Worth, said his organization was equally pleased to see the return of the event that never fails to live up to its slogan, “This Thing is Legendary.”
“We are thrilled with the successful return of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo,” Jameson said. “This is a landmark event for our city and welcomes over one million visitors from around the world annually.”
Among this year’s highlights were 14 auctions that generated a total of $9,980,337 in receipts. More than $6.1 million changed hands in the Junior Sale of Champions, including a record purchase price of $310,000 for the Grand Champion Steer, eclipsing the previous record of $300,000 set at the 2020 sale.
Rodeo fans – 215,808 of them – poured through the turnstiles at Dickies Arena, the world class venue adjacent to the Stock Show grounds at Will Rogers Memorial Center. The ProRodeo Tournament at Dickies featured the sport’s top competitors vying for $991,731 in prize money.
“Dickies Arena is the nation’s premier facility for hosting professional rodeo,” Barnes said. We continue to hear this from spectators and contestants alike, which is a testament to Mr. (Ed) Bass and everyone who worked tirelessly for decades to see the dream of an amazing multipurpose facility become a reality. We look forward to seeing where we can take the rodeo experience in the coming years.”
Barnes stressed that as Fort Worth continues to grow – it is currently the 12th largest city in America with a population approaching 1 million – so will the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.
“Fort Worth is the most dynamic city in Texas, with a growing and increasingly diverse population,” he said. “Fortunately, our identity and appeal are firmly rooted in the Western lifestyle. You see it everywhere you go across town. These are very exciting times, and it’s our hope that we’ll grow the Stock Show’s impact by engaging people from all walks of life here in North Texas and beyond.”