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Tucson Rodeo canceled due to pandemic

Tucson Rodeo Grounds
Posted at 10:14 AM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 09:02:22-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — The 2021 Tucson Rodeo has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the La Fiesta de los Vaqueros website, the event will return in 2022. The 2021 event was scheduled for Feb. 15-23.

Here is the statement released on the site:

The Tucson Rodeo Committee has been hard at work planning for the 2021 Tucson Rodeo and as we have learned more about the medical realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and the logistical realities of social distancing within the context of our rodeo, planning efforts yielded two goals:

1. Produce an event that is as safe as possible for everyone who enters the Tucson Rodeo Grounds and inspire attendees to feel safe.

2. Produce an event that is financially viable in 2021 to ensure future financial stability. Large rodeos such as the Tucson Rodeo are complex and expensive operations that rely on attendance, local support, sponsorships and most of all, volunteers. Event logistics are challenging in the best circumstances and nearly impossible to manage in the middle of a global pandemic. The health of our spectators, volunteers, contestants, vendors and staff is the upmost priority of the Tucson Rodeo Committee.

Current health and safety mandates in Tucson and Pima County regarding social distancing and large gatherings are either too expensive, too complicated or simply not feasible at the Tucson Rodeo and make it impossible to provide the full traditional and historic experience that our attendees expect. Similarly, as a not-for-profit organization, we cannot risk the financial setback by putting on a minimized event. “With the amount of planning that goes into this event, we feel there is too much uncertainty to take the chance of continuing forward at this time,” said Mark Baird, Chairman of the Board, Tucson Rodeo. Therefore, the Tucson Rodeo Committee believes that the only course of action is to cancel the 2021 Tucson Rodeo.

This difficult decision is in the best interest of the health and safety of our community, guests, volunteers, vendors, sponsors and contestants. Besides the loss of this long-standing community event, this decision will have a larger impact on our community and economy. The annual financial impact of the rodeo is in excess of $15 million. In 2020 the Tucson Rodeo Committee provided $250,000 to charitable organizations through event proceeds. The Tucson Rodeo Committee is already planning to be back in the saddle and stronger than ever when the Tucson Rodeo returns February 19-27, 2022.