2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Posted by Vanessa Lotz | June 28, 2018 | Special Events

Grab your boots and set your sights towards The Strip because the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is coming to Las Vegas December 6 – 15, 2018. The premier rodeo championship in the US lasso’s in the 15 top money-winning rodeo talents, in a competition for the world title over the course of ten days of go-round. Your clients will want to sport their dandiest cowboy getups as they head into the Thomas & Mack Center on the University of Las Vegas Campus to make sure they dress the part in the Super Bowl of rodeo. Because the event uses special dirt, it is stored on UNLV until the next year’s event. So, are you ready to get dirty?


If you haven’t attended a rodeo or barrel race near your home town, or simply don’t stay up to speed on all things rodeo, here is a list of the events that cowboys and cowgirls compete in during the first week of December:


  1. Bareback riding
  2. Steer wrestling “bulldogging”
  3. Team roping
    1. “Headers” – when cowboys rope the steer’s head
    2. “Heelers” – when cowboys rope the steer’s hind feet
  4. Saddle bronc riding
  5. Tie-down roping “calf roping”
  6. Bull riding
  7. Barrel racing (generally a female event)


Since the event was founded in 1958, it has been held in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Oklahoma City, until, finally, it moved to Las Vegas in 1984, where it has remained ever since. It is only fitting that sin city holds this hoe down event, seeing as how the contestants and winners of the World All-Around Champion are qualified by how much money they’ve earned in their previous events of the year. Since the event tends to sell out, many casinos will host special NFR parties and feature the events live in their sports books where, of course, many bets will be placed.


For anyone who has been in Las Vegas during the first week of December, perhaps for the Signature conference, you likely saw rodeo enthusiasts in town for the NFR decked out in Wrangler jeans, Justin boots, and oversized cowboy hats. Many of the area’s restaurants will offer drink specials and rodeo themes menus to add to the flair of the annual event. So if you have clients who are rodeo fans, this is the event to send them to, for the Wrangler events, and the best cowboy gear shopping this side of Texas at the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show.  


Other fun events to check out while celebrating NFR include:



      • Shop the widest selection of cowboy gear from of hundreds of the best cowboy gear vendors
      • Las Vegas Convention Center


  • The Legendary Buck’N Ball at The Orleans Hotel & Casino


      • December 6 – 15, 2018
      • The greatest cowboy party in town featuring live country music, two-step dancing and drink specials


  • Gold Buckle Zone at MGM Grand


      • Free live music, dancing, autograph signing with Champions


  • 2018 Rodeo Vegas at the Mirage


      • The official after-party of the Wrangler NFR
      • Free live country concerts
      • NFR display on TV’s
      • Drink specials
      • Chance to mingle with cowboys
      • Free shuttle service from Thomas Mack Center


  • Cowboy FanFest


    • Western music and entertainment
    • Specialty food and beverage
    • Interactive booths
    • Rodeo exhibits
      • Major interactive areas include:
        • Wrangler Rodeo Arena
        • Rodeo Live Stage
        • Lucas Oil Rodeo Way
        • Boot Barn Rodeo Saloon
        • Rodeo Round Up


A few more notes to keep in mind while chatting all things NFR with your clients:

  • First full week of December: December 6 – 15, 2018
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • All Physical tickets– and they sell out fast!!
  • Stay at one of the sponsor hotels
  • Check out one of the many new residencies
  • Get last minute holiday gifts at the Cowboy Christmas
  • Make reservations at an exclusive restaurant
  • Great for groups!


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