PRCA National Finals Rodeo to be livestreamed on ESPN3 MPCC qualifies four to NFR

National Finals Rodeo Live

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is right up there with the best of them. The first go-round of the 2016 WNFR rides at 6:45 p.m. Friday at the Thomas &Mack Center, setting off another run of 10 sold-out nights that will bring the Super Bowl of Rodeo’s streak to an even 300.

“When the WNFR moved in, we knew we were on to something,” said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events, which operates the WNFR, working in conjunction with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

 The dust has settled in the Casper Events Center and the curtain has closed on the 67th annual College National Finals Rodeo.

National Finals Rodeo Live

Nearly 400 contestants started the week long competition vying for national titles in bareback riding, tie-down roping, breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, goat tying, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding. It was a big night for the men from Tarleton State University at Stephenville, Texas. Their Landon Williams won the tie-down roping and all-around championships.

National Finals Rodeo Live

College National Finals Rodeo live online through ESPN3.

“We’re working on the details,” said Roger Walters, commissioner of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

In the past, the week-long “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo was taped and aired later in the summer on ESPNU. The new deal will not mean more money for either the rodeo association or the city of Casper, but local officials are excited about the potential increased exposure.

National Finals Rodeo Live

“The rodeo is our product,” said Councilman Steve Cathey. “The better we can make the product, the more notoriety we gain for Casper.”

The event draws about 1,700 visitors who spend in the neighborhood of $8 million during their stay, according to earlier Star-Tribune reports.

Williams who is a senior majoring in ag industries also competed in the team roping finishing in sixth place to secure the all-around title. The Midland, Texas resident has competed here three times before but this is the first time he has left with a championship. He earned 445 of Tarleton’s 915 points that earned them the national men’s team title.

It took a couple of years for that “on to something” to really take hold, but since 1987, every night of the WNFR has been a sellout.

If you’re a baseball fan, you might say that pales when compared with the Boston Red Sox’s run of 820 games. Or in the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers’ record tear of 814 games, or the NHL mark of 487 by the Colorado Avalanche, or Duke’s current run of 406 in men’s college basketball.

But try taking a little more of an apples-to-apples comparison. Boston’s streak spanned 10 years, from May 2003-April 2013. The Blazers’ run went from 1977-1995, Colorado’s stretched 11 years from 1995-2006, and Duke’s still-intact run started in 1990. NASCAR’S best Sprint Cup streak was at Bristol Motor Speedway, starting in August 1982 and ending in March 2010, a stretch of 55 sellouts over 28 years.

All fall short of the 30-year run by the WNFR. And even the streaks by the Packers and Huskers didn’t require either team to sell out their venues over the course of ostensibly a long week – 10 straight nights. In other words, seeing it simply as 300 straight sellouts is skewing the math.

The four members of the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo team who qualified for nationals will be sent off in style June 7.

There will be an open to the public reception for the team from noon to 1 p.m. at the North Platte Community College South Campus cafeteria.

Hamburgers, salad, chips and iced tea will be served for a free-will donation to The Wranglers, the official booster committee of the MPCC Rodeo Team.

The cowboys who will represent MPCC at the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. June 12-18 are Rowdy Moon, of Sargent; Trey Engel, of Silver Creek; Ethan Lesiak, of Clarks, and Reece Weber, of Valentine

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