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Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Asks Fans to Arrive Early

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is asking fans to arrive early to the Thomas & Mack Center. To accommodate rodeo fans, complimentary shuttle buses and live entertainment will be offered prior to and following each rodeo performance.

The Wrangler NFR, scheduled to start on Thursday, Dec. 3 and culminate on Saturday, Dec. 12, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in Las Vegas.

From Thursday, Dec. 3 through Saturday, Dec. 12, shuttle buses will pick up in front of the NFR Cowboy Christmas Gift Show located at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This “One Way Only” route will serve as the Rodeo Express Shuttle and will run from the Las Vegas Convention Center North Hall directly to the Thomas & Mack Center.

Also beginning on Dec. 3, the NFR Shuttle will begin complimentary routes to and from the NFR official host hotels.  The hotels include: Excalibur, Monte Carlo, Gold Coast, The Mirage, Treasure Island (TI), Hilton, Circus Circus, The Orleans, Four Queens, Golden Nugget, Las Vegas Club, Plaza, Fitzgerald’s, Imperial Palace, Sam’s Town, MGM Grand, Hooters, Palace Station, Silverton and South Point.

Upon arrival, fans will find plenty of entertainment and activities prior to the start of the Wrangler NFR.  Fans will have an opportunity to enjoy live entertainment on the Academy of Country Music (ACM) NFR Stage inside the Cox Pavilion.  This pre-event hospitality area, aptly named Cowboy Corral, is free and open to all ticket holders and features performances by country music artists.  The acts include:

  • Thursday, Dec. 3 – Heidi Newfield
  • Friday, Dec. 4 – David Nail
  • Saturday, Dec. 5 – Sunny Sweeney
  • Sunday, Dec. 6 – Easton Corbin
  • Monday, Dec. 7 – Josh Thompson
  • Tuesday, Dec. 8 – Halfway to Hazard
  • Wednesday, Dec. 9 – LoCash Cowboys
  • Thursday, Dec. 10 – Ash Bowers
  • Friday, Dec. 11 – Sean Patrick McGraw
  • Saturday, Dec. 12 – Joe Nichols

Doors to Cowboy Corral open at 5 p.m. for the 6:45 p.m. weekday rodeo performances and 4 p.m. for the 5:45 p.m. weekend performances (first weekend only).  

In addition, fans can enjoy the ProRodeo Zone, the exclusive fan interactive area of the Wrangler NFR.  Sponsors such as Wrangler, AT&T, Dodge, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, Justin, Priefert and Coors provide interactive activities in tents adjacent to the arena.

The Wrangler NFR will also feature an impressive list of entertainers to sing the national anthem prior to each rodeo performance.  The list in order of performance includes Lonestar, Susie Dobbs, Tanya Tucker, Elena Batman, Josh Thompson, Christy Molasky, LoCash Cowboys, John Michael Montgomery and Sabina Peterman, Ann Marie Valenti and Joe Nichols.

Following the opening ceremonies, the top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding will compete for a share of the $5.75 million purse. 

“Each year, the NFR makes it a priority to put on a world-class show and accommodate rodeo fans,” said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events.  “From the minute that fans arrive at the Thomas & Mack Center, they will find action and entertainment.  We hope that fans arrive early to enjoy the interactive area in the ProRodeo Zone and the live music on the ACM NFR Stage inside the Cowboy Corral, prior to the start of the rodeo.”

In 2008, the event had a total event attendance of 172,747 over the 10 days of competition. The Wrangler NFR has sold out more than 220 consecutive performances.

For additional information on Wrangler NFR entertainment, transportation and shuttle buses, please visit  Additional information about Las Vegas can be found at