Betty Dillard firstname.lastname@example.org
With two weeks left to go, the 2014 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo looks to be on track to break many previous records since it kicked out of the gate 118 years ago. This year’s event, which ends Feb. 8, features a record-breaking 29,917 livestock entries, and as of Jan. 15, 65 percent of the rodeos had been sold out, according to Brad Barnes, president and general manager. The show is expected to draw more than 1 million visitors on the grounds during its 23-day run. In addition, there will be more than 1,200 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association members in town competing for more than $600,000 in total purse, which places the Fort Worth rodeo in the top 10 in the nation based on total purse. “It’s only going to get bigger and better,” Barnes told several hundred attendees at the annual dinner honoring the show’s superintendents on Jan. 15 in the Stagecoach Room of the Round Up Inn on the Stock Show grounds. Barnes, along with Stock Show Chairman Ed Bass, revealed some of the findings from a recently released study, Impact of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo on the Fort Worth Economy, by Gerald L. Grotta of Grotta Marketing Research LLC. The study was based on surveys that show officials have taken regularly since 2003.
Last year, 1,148,400 visitors passed through the gate, an average of 50,000 per day. Of those, more than 80 percent, or 933,000, were from outside Fort Worth, and one out of 10 was from outside Texas. Total spending at the 2013 show – including parking, admission, food, beverage, rides, merchandise and games – exceeded $49 million, with people from outside Fort Worth accounting for more than $42 million of the total. “These numbers clearly reflect a significant economic impact to our city and state, not the least of which are the revenues generated from sales and local taxes,” Barnes said. The city of Fort Worth received more than $1.4 million as the result of spending at the 2013 show and at hotels and motels by show visitors, while the state received more than $3.4 million. In addition to the Stock Show’s economic impact, it is a year-round operation with 15 departments, 888 temporary/seasonal employees, 16 full-time staff members, 151 superintendents and 15 committees with more than 600 volunteers.