Thousands of fans flock to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas the first weekend of March every year to witness the sport of rodeo’s toughest and most competitive athletes face off for the chance to get their part of $2.5 million in prize money. RFD-TV’s The American showcases the true spirit of the western way of life and honors the men and women who protect our country. From March 7-8, rodeo fans and athletes from sea to shining sea will bring edge of the seat action to the Cowboy’s Stadium and show what it truly means to be proud Americans. Here are seven facts that make The American Rodeo one of the most unique events on dirt:
- 1,000 dump-truck loads of dirt are packed into AT&T Stadium.
The turf is rolled up and 2,500 tons of dirt is brought in to fill the stadium floor. Dirt is the most important thing to have at a rodeo, and the American doesn’t mess around when it comes to making sure there is plenty to go around.
- Over 1 million watts of audio power make it one of the loudest events on dirt.
216 15-inch speakers make sure the sounds of all the action are heard from wall to wall of the stadium. The bone vibrating energy from the speakers make sure fans don’t miss a thing and are fully immersed in the excitement.
- Half-a-million pounds of steel fencing makes the event possible.
Goal post and end zones are replaced by a football field-sized arena with two sets of roping and bucking chutes, multiple stock holding pens and all of it is sponsored by Preifert.
- RFD-TV’s The American and the sport of rodeo are truly a family affair.
Family will be a big theme of the 2020 American. It isn’t uncommon for parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and nieces and nephews to compete alongside each other at this event. Fans can expect to see the following individuals competing along side each other:
1. Two-time RFD-TV’s The American Barrel Racing Champion Lisa Lockhart and two-time world champion bull rider Jess Lockwood, aunt and nephew, is a family duo that fans will want to keep their eyes on. The talent these two bring to their respected events is hard to rival.
2. Back-to-back RFD-TV’s The American Tie Down Roping Champion Marty Yates and 17-time world champion cowgirl JJ Hampton, another nephew and aunt pair, are sure to bring the heat to the timed event side of things in the Tie-Down Roping and Breakaway roping.
3. Barrel racer Kim Randle qualified for the American Semi-Finals and now her grandson Jackup Bender has qualified in the barrel racing through the Jr. American. You probably thought it couldn’t get any more heartfelt than a grandmother and her grandson competing in the same event? Well you thought wrong, because it definitely does when grandson qualifies on grandma’s 21-year-old horse.
4. The Wright name is a staple name in rough stock riding world. Five Wright brothers and a couple of cousins will compete at this year’s American and the American Semi-Finals in saddle bronc riding and bull riding.
- Pyrotechnical Enginners are onsite all weekend.
The American would not be the same without the added intensity and excitement of pyrotechnics and flames. A three-man team ships all needed equipment in and assembles all of the wiring behind the scenes to be brought out onto the dirt. Everything is fired remotely, and propane flame effects give an added flare to the already intense production.
- You can’t have a rodeo without the cowboys and cowgirls.
Over 130 athletes and their horses will compete at this year’s event in eight different events. Every event in the sport requires an animal of some sort. The event of team roping requires two. There is no bond quite like the one between an athlete and their equine partner.
- Competitors of any age are eligible for a $1 million bonus.
RFD-TV’s The American is considered the “Richest Weekend in Western Sports,” paying out over $2.5 million in total award money. Athletes who qualify for the event through the American Semi-Finals, held in Fort Worth, have the chance to win a $1 million bonus. Who wouldn’t love that payday!
The 2020 American is set to bring some of the most adrenaline rushing action to date. Head on out to AT&T Stadium on March 7-8, 2020 and immerse yourself in all of the excitement. Get your tickets here!
Guest blog written by Amanda Shaffer.