Romick Rodeo Arena sees upgrades
The summer pro series gets underway Friday
Steamboat Springs — Frederick Melton “Foghorn” Clancy was a famed rodeo promoter and announcer in the early- to mid-20th century, a capable orator who could entertain crowds from horseback. Often, he used a megaphone to project his voice, something longtime Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series announcer John Shipley hopes to avoid resorting to this weekend.
“I’ve never gone that far, but I have commandeered an ambulance or two,” said Shipley, who is also the rodeo’s board president. “Probably three different occasions I’ve announced a rodeo from the PA system in an ambulance … you do what you got to do.”
The 2016 summer series is scheduled to get underway Friday night at Brent Romick Arena — the first of 10 straight weeks of rodeo action in Steamboat Springs. The arena, named for Pro Rodeo Series board chairman Brent Romick, saw a considerable upgrade. Shipley said the improvements are comparable to when the arena received new bucking chutes and stock pens a few years ago.
Among the upgrades is a new sound system, which Shipley hadn’t been able to test as of Wednesday afternoon.
“I kind of ride a roller coaster about it,” Shipley said about getting the arena ready for Friday. “Ready or not, here it comes. Every year, there is a whole lot of work that goes into getting it ready, but this year was really an exceptional effort.”
Both the competition and warm-up arenas received an overhaul and will be slightly larger. New Priefert panels will give the arena a more modern feel. Shipley didn’t know the exact number, but there will also be more stalls available for those wanting to keep horses overnight.
Some of the pieces were still coming together Wednesday, but everything should be ready to go opening night.
“It is significantly more contestant-friendly,” Shipley said. “It will be pretty noticeable, particularly as (spectators) make their way from the concession stand over to the concrete grandstands. They are going to be walking right through the heart of a lot of this new equipment.”
The Pro Rodeo Series runs every Friday and Saturday through Aug. 20, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The main exception will be the 113th annual Cowboys’ Roundup Days and Ranch Rodeo on July 3 and 4.
Adult tickets cost $20 for general admission, with tickets for kids ages 7 to 15 costing $10 and kids 6 and younger being free. Prices are $25 and $15 for the July Fourth rodeo.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or beforehand through F.M. Light & Sons, Steamboat Central Reservations or the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association or online at steamboatprorodeo.com.
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