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Everything You Need to Know About NFR Las Vegas

Man Riding Horse in Rodeo Championship Competiti

How often can you say you went to Vegas to see a rodeo? December 5 is the 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!


What is the NFR Las Vegas?

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER® 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.


How to qualify to compete in the National Finals Rodeo

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 $10 million purse and the coveted Gold Buckle.

The National Finals Rodeo consists of 10 rounds. One round on each of the 10 consecutive days and each contestant competes once each day.


Selecting the National Finals Rodeo Winners

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.


Person Walking in Red Cowboy Boots at NFR Las Vegas


NFR Las Vegas Events


Cowboy Christmas

Located at the Las Vegas Convention Center South Halls, the Cowboy Christmas will occupy over 300,000 square-feet of show floor and host 400 plus 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.


Cowboy Corral

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 Andy Griggs & D’em Boyz, The Brit Stokes Band, and Sean Curtis and the Divide for the full cowboy experience.


Downtown Hoedown

Fremont Street is throwing a party to celebrate the return of NFR Las Vegas. On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, six live performances will take place at the 33rd Annual Downtown Hoedown. Rodeo fans are invited to attend free performances by chart-topping country music artists Rodney Atkins, Dylan Scott, David Lee Murphy, Filmore, Gabby Barrett and Jackson Michelson. The free concerts start at 4:30 pm and go until 11:20pm.


Downtown Las Vegas Events Center NFR Viewing Parties

Experience NFR from the best seats in the rodeo at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. DLVEC is hosting free NFR viewing parties open to the public on December 5-14 at 6:00 PM so everyone can watch the action in style and comfort. Catch all the action from the comfort of our temperature-controlled tents featuring: large viewing screens, food and drink specials, nightly entertainment, and more.

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!