LAS VEGAS – The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino has quickly become the place to be during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Fans have taken notice, and the Home of Champions is where they can see the top cowboys and cowgirls in the world of rodeo. More than 30 contestants who are in the field for the 2011 NFR have made the MGM Grand properties their home during their two weeks in Las Vegas, but there’s so much more to the experience.
For those who are unable to be part of the sold-out action at the Thomas & Mack Center, the MGM Grand hosts the best live feed from each night of the NFR in the Wrangler Theatre. The event is emceed by ProRodeo announcer Will Rasmussen, whose understanding of the game and tidbits of information provide a great flavor that can’t be seen at any other live feed in Las Vegas. The doors open at 5:30 p.m., and there are plenty of festivities surrounding the top-flight action.
What fans have realized in just a short time is that the MGM Grand’s Gold Buckle Zone is where the cowboys and cowgirls come to play after the rodeo. With live music from Annabelle Road & Western Justice, there is dancing, games and so much more. The After Party begins at 9 p.m., and the contestants make their way to the area shortly after the rodeo ends.
“We’re having fun,” said bareback rider Casey Colletti of Pueblo, Colo., who is staying at a nearby resort. “After the rodeo, we’ll go to the MGM.”
Whether contestants are part of Team MGM or staying at their event’s host hotel during the NFR, they find their way to the Gold Buckle Zone, where they enjoy their time with fans, the live music and Saloon 54. Of course, there are gaming tables nearby for those who wish to enjoy those amenities.
“What’s great is that if you want to mingle with the cowboys, and everyone does, then the MGM is the place to be,” a fan said earlier this week. “It seems like you get to see all of them. I had so much fun. I can’t wait to go back.”
From autograph sessions to Friday’s Cowboy All Star Fan Salute that begins at 10 p.m. at the Gold Buckle Zone to the official Trevor Brazile After Party that begins at 11 p.m. Saturday night – which will feature the Eli Young Band – the fans get to enjoy all the greatest moments outside of the arena when they arrive at the MGM Grand.