‘Super Semi-Final Saturday’ on tap for Jan. 25
Not only did the National Western Stock Show make a significant change to the format of its 89-year rodeo, it also created brand new buzz for the last Saturday of the Denver-based stock show. After the recent switch to a tournament style format, the big winter rodeo developed a “Super Semi-Final Saturday” for Jan. 25, 2020, and the changes have attracted important television interest in the historic venue. NWSS President and CEO Paul Andrews met with Lincoln Rogers to discuss the upcoming Super Semi-Final Saturday in 2020.
Lincoln: After changing the rodeo format, what made you decide to do a Super Semi-Final Saturday? Was it all part of the same discussion?
Paul Andrews: The numbers worked, frankly. We knew we could take 16 rodeos and produce 24 contestants in each event to move on to the Super Semi-Final Saturday (Jan. 25). There will be three performances on Super Semi-Final Saturday and then we are going to take the top four from each of them to the finals on Sunday. So 12 contestants per event move ahead to the Sunday Finals, made up of the top four from each rodeo on Saturday.
Lincoln: It sounds like the Super Semi-Final Saturday is very consumer friendly and TV friendly, so it looks like it is going to be a good deal for the NWSS?
Paul Andrews: Anytime we can get TV to cover us, it is the first time in our history that TV is broadcasting our rodeos live. That has never happened before. That is a big deal. We think it is just great to get our brand out there and to get the brand of rodeo out there. Once you do that, people start understanding it more and they look at it and say you know we really ought to come down there and check some of this out. So TV will be a big win for us and hopefully that puts a little pressure on Xfinity to do a deal with Cowboy Channel.
Lincoln: How nice is it that this new rodeo format, new excitement, and new TV deal starts right when you are beginning to expand the NWSS?
Paul Andrews: Actually we talked a lot about getting this going prior to having a new 10,000 seat arena. The arena will give us about 1,700 more seats per performance; it will be a beautiful arena. Suites will be in there that can allow some ambiance we don’t have today. So I think the hope was to just build this towards the new arena and then be ready to go.