National Finals Rodeo kicks off in Tarrant County with COVID-19 protocols in place

Tarrant County is welcoming fans from across the country to the National Finals Rodeo with COVID-19 protocols in place.

The events were moved from Las Vegas to Arlington and Fort Worth for the first time in 35 years.

What some call the Super Bowl of rodeos, the National Finals Rodeo is now underway at venues throughout Tarrant County.

The series of events which draw fans from around the world were relocated to North Texas this year amid pandemic related challenges in its long-time home, Las Vegas.

A glimpse of past NFR competitions highlight some of the best rodeo athletes in the world who have reached the championship level.

This year, some of the main events are happening at Globe Life Field, but also, the Stockyards and convention center in Fort Worth are playing host to popular shopping and vendor attractions like Cowboy Christmas.

Organizers said safety for participants and fans is the priority. They have limited capacity even below the required 75%.

“We’re not at 75% as it sits right now. We can handle about 10,000 people a day here at one time. That’s what we’re anticipating here at the convention center throughout the whole day,” said Jason Sands, with the Fort Worth Sports Commission.

“We are going over and above all COVID protocols. We are not only practicing the social distancing, obviously masks are required and temperature checks are required at each entrance. We have one-way aisles. We have ushers trying to keep crowds apart. We feel really safe about the programs we’re offering,” said Bo Gardner, vice president of corporate marketing for Las Vegas events.

Ambassadors are located throughout the Fort Worth visitors’ areas handing out masks at hotels and restaurants. The NFR events are happening through December 12.