The Super Bowl of rodeo which is more commonly known as the National Finals Rodeo (NFR). It is an annual contest that is held by the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association). The PRCA was started in the year 1958 in order to decide the winner in all the seven main events. Steer wrestling, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, team roping, bareback bronc riding and barrel racing are the seven main events. The steer roping event in the world championships has not been held with the other NFR events. But it was held separately. The Kansas Star Arena at present holds the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping. The National Finals Rodeo has some of the best talents. And the top fifteen earners in each event as they take part in the world championships.
The venue for the first NFR championship was Dallas and the event was held in the year 1959. The championship was held at the same venue till 1961. Then from 1962 to 1964, it was Los Angeles where the competition was held. Oklahoma City did manage to host the event in 1964. The first ever NFR event held at the State Fair Arena brought in 47,027 fans. NFR stayed at the Myriad Convention Center, from 1978 till 1984. This brought Oklahoma merchants an estimate of $8 million annually.
In 1984, Las Vegas was the host of the NFR event. While the Council of Oklahoma City Council decided to build a new stadium at the State Fairgrounds costing $30 million. But it was Las Vegas who won the bid. Since 1985 the venue has been the Thomas & Mack Center situated in Las Vegas. A total of about 170,000 fans were drawn for the 10 day event at the Thomas & Mack Center arena. Hence NFR has become the biggest client of the arena.
Wrangler was the first sponsor for the NFR in 2001. Hence the sponsorship deal was a landmark in the NFR history. The contract, part of the PRCA’s continues efforts to take the professional rodeo to new heights. This was done by Steven J. Hatchell who is the PRCA Commissioner.
Oklahoma City has filed its bidding to bring the NFR event back to Oklahoma City, but their bid has always outdone by the big money spent by Las Vegas. Beginning from 2011, the NFR event was hosted by Oklahoma City. There has always been a great tussle between Las Vegas and Oklahoma City, but the Las Vegas city has always managed to outdo Oklahoma.
This was perceived as a phase to prove that the fans are there to get the National Finals Rodeo back to Oklahoma City after the contract of the Las Vegas city will end in 2014. Bids were made the host the 2015 event by the Texas, Dallas, Florida, and Kissimmee to host the National Finals Rodeo after the conclusion of the 2013 rodeo. But their hopes were short-lived as the PRCA decided to extend the hosting of the event by Las Vegas on January 24, 2014. The PRCA did sign an agreement to extend the till 2024 with the Las Vegas.