CHEYENNE, Wyo. (July 28, 2019) – For the past 123 years, the spirit of the West has been the centerpiece of Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD).
This year’s edition of the 10-day celebration embraced that same spirit while seeing new opportunities designed to enhance the fan experience. The most notable addition to Frontier Park is the Cheyenne Frontier Days Event Center at the southwest corner of the arena.
Constructed in less than a year, the multipurpose building is being used for offices, meeting rooms and has a special viewing area for sponsors and VIPs as well as a ticketed rooftop area. The building will be available year-round. It was well utilized for Cheyenne Frontier Days and will be a centerpiece in the master plan for future growth.
This year’s rodeo had 1,550 contestants competing for over $1 million in prize money with the addition of women’s breakaway roping and a tournament-style format. In 2018, there were 1,350 competitors with prize money at $845,788
At the Championship Finals on Sunday, 13,432 fans witnessed history when local favorite Brody Cress won the saddle bronc riding for the third time. Sunday’s attendance saw an increase of 1,000 tickets over 2018. Cress, from Hillsdale, is the first man to win three consecutive titles since the rodeo started in 1897. When he rides here again next year, he will be trying to beat his own record and join the legendary list of saddle bronc riders who have won here four times.
Action in the arena on Frontier Park started with a Wild West Show on July 19 with events that reflected rodeo’s history including women’s ranch bronc riding. Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association action as well as the CFD Invitational Breakaway Roping started with qualification rounds July 12. The first full rodeo performance was held July 20.
The highest attended rodeo was on Saturday, July 27 at 14,215. All rodeo performances were broadcast on the Cowboy Channel. The Wrangler Network streamed the semifinals and finals, bringing the rodeo to a worldwide audience.
Professional Bull Riders (PBR) hosted their Last Cowboy Standing competition on July 22-23 as part of Frontier Nights. The last bull rider standing on Tuesday night was Chase Outlaw who had been seriously injured one year ago. It was one of the best night show crowds since Frontier Days added bull riding with 9,863 in attendance. The events were broadcast on PBR’s Ride Pass and CBS Sports.
Many of the activities during CFD are centered around animals. An estimated 6,000 make their way through the rodeo arena, parades and at the bull riding. Comprehensive reports showed 140 of those animals examined, 55 of them required treatment and all but two were expected to make a full recovery.
Rodeo attendance through nine performances was 97,373 slightly less than in 2018 but still higher than 2017. The night show featuring Post Malone boasted a capacity crowd of 22,500 and was the fastest selling concert in CFD history. Night show attendance was up at 120,518 and increase from 2018. Total attendance for the 123rd celebration was slightly higher than in 2018.
A partnership with Colorado State University’s (CSU) Equine Clinical Services program provided comprehensive care for the third year. The CSU Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation veterinarians provided care similar to athletic trainers for contestants. Onsite services included digital radiographs, ultrasound, acupuncture, chiropractic care and shock wave therapy. The Justin Sportsmedicine Team was on site and along with local medical personnel provided over 400 treatments.
Other numbers were in line with previous years. Four parades were estimated to have over 90,000 visitors. Three pancake breakfasts saw 22,713 meals served and 50,998 visited the Indian Village.
Military Monday continues to be popular. All branches of the military were honored with active personnel and veterans receiving free admission. The U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leapfrogs, thrilled rodeo and night show fans by jumping into the arena at Frontier Park and the USAF Thunderbirds are always a big hit. The Thunderbirds also performed over F.E. Warren Airforce Base with approximately 19,500 people in attendance.
“This was a year of great change,” said Jimmy Dean Siler, General Chairman of Cheyenne Frontier Days. “I want to thank our volunteers, sponsors, rodeo contestants and most of all our loyal fans. We are looking forward to 2020.”