Roundup Arena gets a facelift

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A view of the north grandstands at Roundup Arena while construction is under way this summer. The work should be done in time for this year’s Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

DODGE CITY, Kan. – A local grant mixed with volunteer labor will result in a bit of a facelift to Roundup Arena in time for this year’s Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

The planks of wood that served as flooring and seating for the north grandstands of the arena have been removed and will be replaced in time for this year’s event, set for 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug-Sunday, Aug. 8; Dodge City Xtreme Bulls is set for 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3.

“The money comes from a grant we received from the Community Facilities Advisory Board, a joint city-county committee,” said Elaine Gall, the office manager for Roundup Rodeo. “We left the frame and rebuilt the flooring, risers and seats with metal. It had been an old, wooden grandstands.

“It was more of a safety issue, but we believe it’s going to look good, too.”

Roundup Rodeo is one of the biggest annual events to hit southwest Kansas each year, with hundreds of contestants itching to compete inside the storied arena at one of the largest events in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. In addition, thousands of fans come from the region and beyond to see the spectacle of Kansas’ largest rodeo.

“The funding comes from the ‘Why Not Dodge?’ campaign that was established years ago,” Gall said. “That’s been the best thing for Dodge City as far as making it an entertainment destination.”

Oh, and there’s plenty of entertainment when it comes to Roundup Rodeo. In addition to the world-class competition that takes place on the arena floor, the event also will be a showcase of comedy and true horsemanship with the addition of John Harrison, one of the most recognized rodeo clowns and entertainers.

Beyond that, each event in rodeo has its own level of entertainment. Whether it’s a high-marked ride on bucking horses and bulls or fast times in bulldogging or barrel racing, there are so many aspects of the rodeo that account for their own entertainment value to fans.

That’s why having the most comfortable grandstands possible is important to the local organizers.

“It takes a lot of time and a lot of work to put something like this together,” said Dr. R.C. Trotter, the volunteer committee’s president. “We had just a few guys who put in all of that work, and between them, they will have put in hundreds of man-hours to make sure the work is done right and looks good. We have some incredible volunteers to get that kind of work done.

“This is going to be functional, which is the most important, but I think it’s also going to allow our arena to look even more modern. Plus, after coming off a year like we witnessed in 2020, I hope we have all three grandstands full for all the performances during the week of the rodeo.”


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