How often can you say you went to Vegas to see a rodeo? December 3-17 is the 65th annual National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, and it’s an event you’re not going to want to miss. From bareback riding to WPRA barrel racing, this rodeo championship is filled with the best of the best in the sport. On top of an exciting main event, NFR is in Las Vegas – which means plenty of chances to rock your cowboy boots at a party or two. Read below to learn more about the event and where to catch watch parties and hoedowns!
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas is the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Known as the “Super Bowl of Rodeo”, the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas features an impressive list of entertainers to sing the national anthem prior to each rodeo performance. Competition starts following the opening ceremonies.
Held annually since 1959 – and since 1985, every December in Las Vegas – the Wrangler NFR is ProRodeo’s richest and most prestigious rodeo, and it showcases the very best cowboys, barrel racers, and livestock in the world. The contract signed with Las Vegas Events in 2015 keeps the Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas through 2024 and raises prize money significantly over that decade. It is telecast to more than 55 million households on CBS Sports Network.
The Top 15 contestants in the standard rodeo events – bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping (headers and heelers), saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, WPRA barrel racing, and bull riding, qualify to compete at the National Finals Rodeo based on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Standings for a share of the record-setting $11.5 million prize and the coveted Gold Buckle.
The National Finals Rodeo consists of 10 rounds. There is one round on each of the 10 consecutive days between December 6-16, and each contestant competes once each day.
At the end of the NFR competition, there are two champions in each event (four for team roping). The first champion is the average winner with the best cumulative time or score over 10 rounds. The second champion is the world champion who finished the year with the most money (including what he or she earned at the NFR). Cowboys and barrel racers earn money by placing first through sixth in any round, and pick up more money by placing first through eighth in the average (cumulative times or points earned during the 10 rounds). For each event, the average winner and world champion may be the same person or different people.
One of the best NFR Las Vegas traditions, the Cowboy Christmas will occupy over 500,000 square-feet of show floor and host 350+ vendors from across the United States and Canada. These vendors will showcase their unique products which will include: customized jewelry, western wear, boots and spurs, furniture, original art, handmade crafts and pottery, as well as providing the best source for the Official Wrangler NFR and PRCA merchandise.
When you arrive at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, you will have multiple entertainment options to enjoy prior to and following each rodeo performance. Don’t miss all the action before and after the NFR each night at the Cowboy Corral. Get to the arena an hour early and kick up your heels while enjoying live entertainment from Will Jones, Mae Estes, Old Hickory, and Wyatt McCubbin for the full cowboy experience.
Experience NFR from the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center at Gary Leffew’s Buckaroo Ball. DLVEC is hosting free NFR viewing parties open to the public on December 7-16 at 6 pm so everyone can watch the action in style. Catch all the action from the comfort of temperature-controlled tents featuring large viewing screens, food and drink specials, live music featuring Dez Hoston & the Longwood Band and Steve Sturgis and the Riflemen.
Pack your cowboy boots and get ready for the ultimate event that is NFR Las Vegas! With hoedowns, epic rides, exciting concerts, and more, this is going to be a Las Vegas trip like no other. Book your room at the D Las Vegas Hotel to be right in the middle of all the action so you don’t have to miss a single moment!
Even better, the D will be hosting a “Buck Wild Giveaway” for every day of the rodeo from December 6-16, 2023. The drawing will take place at 10 pm at the Club One desk where two winners will be chosen. Two prizes will be given out every night – an Official NFR Jacket or a pair of tickets to the following night’s rodeo! You can also get more daily entries at 12 pm at Golden Gate and 4 pm at Circa Las Vegas – with each property offering different daily prizes. Club One members can also increase their chances by participating in different casino activities.