DENVER (CBS4) – Moving the National Western Stock Show was a major topic of discussion, but it’s staying in Denver after all — with some changes.
This year the Stock Show is kicking off some new events that will hopefully gain support for the aging facility.
All of the work, the preparation, the planning comes down to 16 days for the stock show.
“We are the Super Bowl of live stock shows,” said Paul Andrews, President and CEO of the National Western Stock Show.
More than 600,000 people will attend the event and appreciate the art of agriculture.
“Hundreds of thousands of people that come to the Stock Show appreciate what these kids do and what the rest of the agriculture industry does,” Westernaires Director Glen Keller said. “I came to my first rodeo when the only building out here was the old stadium.”
PHOTO GALLERY: National Western Stock Show
Keller, a Stock Show staple, has seen its popularity grow.
“We’ve seen the Stock Show grow from one building to many buildings,” he said.
And outgrow the facility.
“Unfortunately there’s not room for any more,” Keller said.
“We need to get a little bit more modern, we need to get a little bigger,” Andrews said.
Maintenance on the century-old buildings is overwhelming.
“The deferred maintenance on these buildings is in excess of $100 million,” Andrews said.
There is old roofing, poor lighting and a host of upkeep issues.
“If we don’t solve this problem in the next seven to 10 years, we are at risk to potentially go away,” Andrews said.
Stock Show and city leaders are working on a plan to breathe new life into the 107-year old tradition.
“We’re looking to create a complex that celebrates the agriculture heritage for 365 days a year, rather than the two weeks in January,” Andrews said. “We’re going to figure out how to expand this operation so it survives another 100 years.”
Until a new plan is hatched, the Stock Show will continue to reinvent itself.
“The least expensive experience of all time will be this year at the Stock Show,” Andrews said.
Free parking, cheaper concessions, and a fan appreciation day will hopefully keep the fans coming.
“That’s cheaper than coming to a movie and you can spend all day here.”
Sunday was Mexican Heritage Appreciation Day. Fan Appreciation Day is Jan. 27 where admission is just $8.