The 2023 National Western Stock Show attracted 702,697 visitors over its 16-day January run. It showed a rebound in enthusiasm for the historical event after health worries/mandates reduced 2022’s attendance to 586,756. The final weekend of Jan. 21-22, 2023, saw more than 100,000 people show up to see what was going on during the last two days, which included four high-profile semifinal and championship rounds of rodeo in the Denver Coliseum, along with the ever-popular Draft Horse, Mules & Donkeys show in the National Western Events Center.
“It is so great to have all these big horses here and mules and donkeys from all over the country,” said NWSS Horse Show Manager Kendra McConnell. “We’ve had some really great shows and it is so neat to put so many different breeds and disciplines and divisions in front of the public.”
Other NWSS officials were pleased, as well.
“The 100,000 people means it is that many more people we can expose to the National Western, the western lifestyle, agriculture and all the rest,” said NWSS Sr. Vice President John Ellis about the final weekend’s visitor turnout. “We are very happy with that. When people come to the stock show they know exactly what they are going to get. It is going to be a wonderful family experience; they will see animals and they will have great value for that general admission ticket. Or if they go to a rodeo or another ticketed event, that is great value, too. In the off-season we spend a lot of time on what we can do new or what we can take that is existing and tweak or make better, so a lot of thought goes into that.”