Round 1 of the 2023 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, originally scheduled for Thursday, December 7, has been postponed due to the tragic incident.
Las Vegas Events and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association announced the postponement in light of the tragic incident that occurred on the UNLV Campus yesterday.
“Due to the tragic event that took place on the UNLV campus today, the Las Vegas Events board of trustees and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association board of directors announced that the first performance of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 7, has been canceled,” the sponsoring organizations said in a statement.
How to watch NFR 2023 from anywhere (recommended)
NFR Streaming Pass is an NFR package to stream the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo by the Cowboy Channel Plus. The Cowboy Channel provides the 2023 NFR streaming for $99.99 (non-recurring). Alternative way to get all access NFR Finals 2023 from anywhere via PremiumTV, Get 50% off on PremiumTV.
The organizers, Las Vegas Events and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) expressed deep concern and sorrow and emphasized their focus on the victims and their families.
They also thanked the first responders, police, security, and the UNLV community for their swift actions during the tragic incident.
“All of us are saddened by the events today,” said LVE President Tim Keener.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected. We are grateful to the first responders, police, security, and the UNLV community for their actions today.”
“Today’s shooting on the UNLV campus was alarming and deeply troubling,” said PRCA CEO Tom Glause.
“The PRCA is grateful for the rapid, professional response from law enforcement and first responders. Our thoughts right now are focused on the victims of this senseless act of violence.”
The tragic incident rocked Las Vegas as a gunman walked into two buildings on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus and killed three and critically injured at least one more.
Thomas & Mack was swarmed with police tactical units, SWAT teams, and snipers while the 120 NFR contestants, contractors, and PRCA staff sat in lockdown inside the arena at the time of the grand entry practice.
After being held in lockdown from 11:46 am to 1:26 pm, they were ushered out of the arena by armed officers via the tunnel in which ropers ride into the Thomas & Mack. At night, police sat at the gate to the stall area, but contestants were permitted to get in and out to feed their horses on the grounds.
Las Vegas’ Harry Reid Airport remained shut down, given its proximity to the shooting and to allow police helicopters to fly above the scene. The I-15 freeway was closed by the police. The gunman is dead now and isn’t a threat to the community anymore. However, UNLV will remain closed for the remainder of the week.
The $14.9 million NFR was set to begin today. The event is the largest hosted by the city each year, bringing 340,000 rodeo fans to the town over the ten days of the Finals. The Thomas & Mack is in the heart of the UNLV Campus and merely an eight-minute walkway from the location of the tragedy.
As Day 2 of the National Finals Breakaway Roping was scheduled to start at 2:00 pm at the South Point Arena (10 miles from the shooting site), the final performances were carried out, and Shelby Boisjoli-Meged was crowned World Champion.
The Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas at the Las Vegas Convention Center also took place as scheduled and was open to the public.