Rounding up money at the rodeo

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Lupe Garcia and daughter Alexis smile and dance in the food court while several hundred others enjoy good eats and drink Saturday. He said, “It’s my dream to be dancing with my daughter.” Photo by Paula Christine Schuler

Lupe Garcia and daughter Alexis smile and dance in the food court while several hundred others enjoy good eats and drink Saturday. He said, “It’s my dream to be dancing with my daughter.” Photo by Paula Christine Schuler

Using the same dirt for 26 years saves money.

By Cassandra M. Rodriguez

crodriguez719@student.alamo.edu

Great weather Saturday and Sunday packed the grounds with big spenders at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo at Freeman Coliseum and the AT&T Center and grounds.

“After being closed in with cold weather, and it turns out to be a nice day they are all going to come out,” Sharron Arnold, merchandise and marketing coordinator, said, referring to the two chilly and rainy days leading up to the rodeo’s first weekend.

Guests usually spend most of their money on food, shopping and the carnival.

Last year, the rodeo sold $1.6 million on the grounds and $187,000 on the middle Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.

The stock show and rodeo makes the most money from exhibitors and those there for days at a time because they have to eat.

After that, it is the people who come in for the day, spending money at the carnival and with vendors.

The rodeo staff coordinates year-round with Spurs Sports and Entertainment and Bexar County Community Arena Board to ensure that the activities and events begin smoothly.

At 5 a.m. after the San Antonio Spurs’ last home game, volunteers were already working to spread 80,000 pounds of dirt on the floor of the AT&T Center to make the horse arena.

It would cost the rodeo $25,000 each year to replace the dirt, but they save money recycling the dirt.

The dirt is treated so it’s safe for the animals to be around, and they have been using the same dirt since 1988.

Last year, the stock show and rodeo raised $11.3 million for scholarships, grants, junior livestock auctions, a calf scramble and show premiums paid to youth.

The event has raised $134.6 million to date.

“It’s crazy to see the transformation,” communications Director Jenny Nagelmueller said of the grounds surrounding the AT&T Center that are transformed into rodeo arenas, exhibits and the carnival.

It takes a whole lot of work to build and set up the areas necessary for the rodeo to commence, and most of the work is done by volunteers.

Planning the rodeo is a year-round task, but most of the work takes place in January and the first day of February.

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