DENVER — The National Western Livestock Show has cancelled its 115th event next year due to ongoing worries about the pandemic.
In a press conference Monday morning, president and CEO Paul Andrews said the show reviewed several options for the January show, including a virtual event, but decided that it would be better to make sure ranchers and exhibitors don’t plan a visit to the event when it could be cancelled closer to the start date.
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“As an indoor event in the heart of winter, we could not risk (the health of visitors) as the pandemic rages on,” he said.
The annual livestock and rodeo show in downtown Denver is the largest of its kind in the world and brings in an estimated $120 million in economic impact to the metro area each year. The junior livestock auction also draws local 4-H and Future Farmers of America members from across Colorado and the western U.S. to sell animals that they raised.
It also raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for agriculture and rural medicine students at universities in Colorado and Wyoming. The show said it will continue granting scholarships to the 100 students who are receiving that funding.
The Colorado State University System is due to begin construction in October on a three-building campus named “Spur” at the show’s future home at the National Western Center. The first building, a 114,000-square-foot structure, is expected to be completed in September 2021 and open fully in 2022. It will host satellite offices for equine therapy and pet clinics run in part by CSU veterinary students.
The other two buildings, which will house research and public outreach efforts on water issues and food and agriculture, are planned to be completed in summer 2022 and January 2022 respectively, according to Spur’s website.
A CSU spokesperson said the show’s postponement does not affect the construction timeline.
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