Rodeo returns to Steamboat in summer 2021 |

Rodeo returns to Steamboat in summer 2021

The Steamboat Pro Rodeo Series is returning to Brent Romick Arena at the Howelsen in 2021 after the 2020 season was canceled.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The smell of barbecue, shrieks of awe and the buzz of the announcer over speakers will once again emanate from the Brent Romick Arena at Howelsen Hill Rodeo Grounds as the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series returns this summer to the Yampa Valley.

The 2021 season, with 10 rodeos and 20 performances over nine weeks, will kick off July 1 and 2, followed by the 117th Cowboys Roundup Days on July 3 and 4. The season normally kicks off in mid-June and runs through mid-August, but the final weekend of rodeo will be Aug. 27 and 28.

“This still may be a unique season,” board chairman Brent Romick said. “But we’re going to put every effort forth to try to keep it as safe and as good as we possibly can and still have a 10-week pro rodeo series.”

Usually, the early season events help get the series underway smoothly, but this year, they’re jumping right into a jam packed holiday weekend.

Last year was the first in 117 years that there wasn’t a rodeo in Steamboat. While the series was able to avoid taking a big financial hit by not hosting any rodeos, the valley suffered a cultural and traditional blow.

“I always try to remind people this was a ranch town before it was a ski town,” board president and rodeo announcer John Shipley said. “We’re the reason the city can have a spur in their logo. Last summer was the first time in 117 years that there wasn’t a rodeo here. It returns a tradition that differentiates Steamboat from all the other resort towns in Colorado.”

The rodeo, sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys of America, brings in competitors from across Colorado and the nation to compete in everything from barrel racing to bull riding.

Capacity will be determined by the health protocols at the time, but Shipley said the board is confident capacity will be high enough to make hosting a rodeo worth it.

The famous pre-rodeo barbecue is still up in the air, but the rodeo experience shouldn’t be diminished, even without the delicious meal.

“Shoot, I know some people that buy a season pass just so they can go down there and eat,” Shipley said.

Action starts at 7:30 p.m., and all tickets are general admission. On July 4, the rodeo will begin at 6:30 p.m.

There will be a change in ticketing as the Pro Rodeo Series moves to an electronic format. Details about season tickets and sponsorships will be released in the coming weeks. The move to digital ticketing and registration for participants will limit interactions on the day of events.

More details on how many people can attend on a certain evening will be known as the series gets closer and information may change as the summer progresses.

Romick said the city, county and the health department have all been great in helping plan the series in the safest way.

“We all are on a mutual mission to unroll the series but also get our community up and back this summer,” Romick said.

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“Rodeo isn’t just something that you do, but it’s who you are,” said Shipley. “Since 1983, probably, in one capacity or another, I’ve been down there every Friday and Saturday all summer long. … We really missed it.”

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