If you've never been to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas, this is an event you must attend, at least once in a lifetime. 2019 will mark the 35th year for the Wrangler NFR to be held in Las Vegas.
For 10 days in December the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) transforms the look and feel of Las Vegas in a spectacular way. Each year, thousands of rodeo enthusiasts decked out in Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots and outsized hats stroll up and down the Vegas strip, and fill Las Vegas hotel lobbies, casinos, showrooms and restaurants. You don't have to be a cowboy or cowgirl to have the time of your life. However the National Finals Rodeo might just make a cowboy out of you after 10 days of competition and entertainment.
Let's face it, Las Vegas is known for doing everything big. The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is no exception. From the minute you arrive in Sin City, you will find action and entertainment everywhere to look. The Vegas strip is full of the rodeo spirit as hotel marquees are splashed with the names of the brightest stars in country music and casinos try to out-do each other with NFR entertainment and specials.
However, I am hoping you plan ahead and get your flight tickets early because things get pricey and sell out fast during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR). If you haven't, no worries, it’s not too late to find something if you search now. There are still some tricks you can use to get decent prices. Also don't forget to use Las Vegas hotel discount promotion codes when booking your room.
If you like shows, check out the list of our recommended Las Vegas shows. These shows sell out fast, so if plan to see one, get your tickets as early as possible.
The 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR)
Dates: Thursday, Dec 5th - Saturday, Dec 14th, 2019
Start Times: All start times in 2019 are 6:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (PT).
Location: Thomas & Mack Center (on the UNLV Campus)
4505 S. Maryland Parkway,
Las Vegas, NV, 89154.
Things you should know about the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas
Most bars and restaurants will offer drink specials, and rodeo themed menus. All Las Vegas buffets also offer you an opportunity to experience new cowboy themed items nightly, all featuring good ol' home made BBQ.
If money is not an issue here is a list of highly recommended restaurants you might consider calling ahead of time to make a reservation.
This is a period you have to make dinner reservations. If you are going to any restaurant during the Wrangler NFR week either book ahead of time or be prepared to wait in line for a very long time.
With that said, if Las Vegas is beckoning you this coming Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR), here are a few things you might want to put on your to-do list. You'll also find lots of resources and some money saving tips on this site while planning your National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
|Rodeo Event||2018 Champions||Notes|
|Bareback Riding||Tim O'Connell||3rd consecutive bareback riding title|
|Steer Wrestling||Tyler Waguespack||2nd world championship in 3 years|
|Saddle Bronc Riding||Wade Sundell||Wins 1st world title at age 33|
|Tie-Down Roping||Caleb Smidt||2nd tie-down roper gold buckle|
|Barrel Racing||Hailey Kinsel||Won with a WPRA single-season record $350,700|
|Team Roping||Clay Smith and Paul Eaves||Parting ways for the 2019 season|
|Bull Riding||Sage Kimzey||5th consecutive world championships|
|All-Around Gold buckle||Trevor Brazile||14th All-Around Gold buckle|
Chase Dougherty (Bull rider) wins RAM Top Gun Award - Wining $209,058 over the 10-nights of the Wranger NFR
2018 National Finals Rodeo Highlights
Video Credit: PRCA Pro Rodeo
Below is a list of 2018 National Finals Rodeo (NFR) Events
Don't miss all the action before and after the NFR each night at the Cowboy Corral located at the Cox Pavilion, next to the Thomas & Mack Center. Get to the arena an hour early and head over to the Cowboy Corral. Kick up your heels and enjoy live entertainment.
Live Performance each night before the Wrangler NFR
Andy Griggs & D'em Boyz - Time: 5:30 p.m.
Live Performance each night following the Wrangler NFR
Sean Curtis and the Divide - Dec. 6 - 9
The Britt Stokes Band - Dec. 10 - 15
Doors Open 5 p.m. nightly
Admission: FREE with Wrangler NFR Ticket
The Mirage Presents Rodeo Vegas 2018. The official Wrangler NFR After-Party of the PRCA. Offering the best FREE live entertainment from country music's biggest stars. Besides joining over 70,000 rodeo fans in the ultimate rodeo party, here are a few other things to expect.
Rodeo Vegas Free Live Entertainment schedule
|December 6 - 15||DJ DU|
|December 6 & 8||Casey Donahew|
|December 7||Tyler Farr|
|December 9 & 10||LOCASH|
|December 11||Brandon Lay|
|December 12||Andy Griggs|
|December 13, 14, & 15||David Adam Byrnes|
|December 13||Glen Templeton|
|December 14||Joe Diffie|
|December 15||Easton Corbin|
Dates: December 6 - 15
Time: 9:30 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Location: The Mirage Race & Sports Book
Parlor Lounge will provide live music to rodeo fans looking for a more intimate setting. Admission is FREE with live music beginning at 9:30 p.m. nightly. The artists scheduled to perform are:
Brit Stokes - December 6, 7, & 8
Andy Griggs - December 13
Glen Templeton - December 14 & 15
Nightly NFR action on High Definition Projection TV screens. Enjoy drink specials & nightly prize giveaways throughout the performance. Remember you can catch the FREE nightly shuttle service to and from the Thomas and Mack Center.
Free Admission/ Open to the Public Guests 21 and over only.
Enjoy FREE Live music, dancing, free viewing parties and giveaways nightly at the MGM Grand Gold Buckle Zone.2018 Gold Buckle Zone Nightly Entertainment
Other events at the Gold Buckle Zone
Autograph signing with Champions
December 6 - 15
Time: 8 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Location: The Central at MGM Grand, near the Sports Book
Free Admission/ Open to the Public
Gary Leffew's Legendary Buck'N Ball at Tropicana Las Vegas December 6 - 15, 2018
The Legendary Buck'N Ball features Live country music, two-step dancing and drink specials.
Doors Open at 6:30 nightly. Live viewing party followed by Gary Leffew's Bucking Ball
Location: Tropicana Las Vegas Conference Center
Must be 21 and older
Free Admission/ Open to the Public
Buckin' Bash hosted by Justin Rumford at The Orleans Hotel & Casino December 6 - 15, 2018
Buckin' Bash is home to Las Vegas' greatest cowboy party, featuring live country music, brews, and two-steppin'.
Doors Open at 9:00pm — 2:00 a.m. nightly
Location: Inside the Bourbon Street Lounge at the The Orleans Hotel & Casino
Buckin' Bash Event lineup:
Rebel Soul – Dec. 6 - 8
Thrillbilly Deluxe – Dec. 9 - 10
Sam Riddle – Dec. 11 - 12
Cash Presley – Dec. 13 - 15
Free Admission/ Open to the PublicMust be 21 and older
December 6 - 15
8 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Gilley's Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que
Live entertainment and drink specials nightly!
Free Admission Before 9 p.m. / Open to the Public
December 6 - 15
6 p.m. - Midnight
Veil Pavilion inside Silverton Casino Hotel
Live FREE all ages viewing parties followed by live bands each night (after party is 21+)
Free Admission/Open to the public
Located at the Las Vegas Convention Center South Halls, The Cowboy Christmas will occupy over 300,000 square-feet of show floor and host 400 plus vendors from across the United States and Canada. These vendors will showcase their unique products which will include: customized jewelry, western wear, boots and spurs, furniture, original art, handmade crafts and pottery, as well as providing the best source for the Official Wrangler NFR and PRCA merchandise.
Cowboy Christmas Gift Show / Co-located with the RMEF's Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo
December 6 - 15, 2018
Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
Free Admission - Open to the Public
Note: Free shuttle service will be provided from the Cowboy Christmas directly to the Thomas & Mack Center for each night's rodeo performance.
Cowboy Christmas at Las Vegas Convention Center By Bus, take: Routes 108 or SDX
Other Gift Shows Around Town
One of the great things about the 2018 National Finals Rodeo is that it coincides with the beginning of the Holiday Season in Las Vegas. The month of December is one of the most wonderful time of the year to visit Vegas as you will immediately find yourself immersed in the holiday experience, spectacular light displays, and lots of free entertainment up and down the Strip and beyond.
Here are a few Christmas activities to add on your list of things to do this National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
What is the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR)?
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER® is the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Known as the Super Bowl of Rodeo, the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas will feature an impressive list of entertainers to sing the national anthem prior to each rodeo performance.
Following the opening ceremonies, the Top 15 contestants in the standard rodeo events - Bareback riding, Steer wrestling, Team roping (headers and heelers), Saddle bronc riding, Tie-down roping, WPRA barrel racing and Bull riding, qualify to compete at the National Finals Rodeo based on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Standings for a share of the $10 million purse and the coveted Gold Buckle.
The National Finals Rodeo consists of 10 rounds. One round on each of the 10 consecutive days and each contestant competes once each day.
Selecting the Winners:
At the end of the NFR competition, there are two champions in each event (four for team roping). The first champion is the average winner with the best cumulative time or score over the 10 rounds. The second champion is the world champion who finished the year with the most money (including what he or she earned at the NFR). Mind you, for each event, the average winner and world champion may be the same person or different people.
2018 National Finals Rodeo (NFR) on a tight budget
We are constantly searching for ways to save you money at the Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas. In the coming weeks, this section will be updated with all the 2018 National Finals Rodeo FREE events you can take advantage of. From free show coupons, to free attractions, to free transportation. Check back regularly to take advantage of these offers. Also remember to checkout our Las Vegas money saving tips.
Take advantage of the free shuttle buses to and from hotels and from the Las Vegas Convention Center, to the Thomas & Mack Center.
2018 National Finals Rodeo FREE Shuttle Bus Service
If you are planing to attend the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, you will be glad to know that FREE shuttle bus service will be provided from and to the following hotels listed below.
Rodeo Starts: 6:45 P.M.
Dates: December 6 - 15, 2018
The NFR Express shuttle buses leave approximately every 15 minutes from each of the hotels listed below.
Shuttle to Thomas & Mack Center (Pre-Event) - 5:00pm. - 7:00pm.
Shuttle from Thomas & Mack Center (Post-Event) - 9:00pm - 10:30pm.
*All times are subject to change.
|Route||Resort||Pickup/Drop off Location|
|Route 1||Cowboy Christmas Gift Shop - one way route only|| LVCC South Halls (east entrance)
|Route 13||Bally's||North entrance|
|Route 10||Caesars Palace||Tour bus area - under the Planet Hollywood sign|
|Route 10||The Cosmopolitan||Main entrance (north wall)|
|Route 8||The D Las Vegas||Main Entrance|
|Route 9||Downtown Grand||Valet entrance|
|Route 12||Flamingo||Bus Tour Area|
|Route 8||Golden Nugget||Casino Tower entrance|
|Route 6||Gold Coast||Valet entrance|
|Route 12||Harrah's||Bus Tour Lobby|
|Route 5||Hard Rock Hotel||Main entrance|
|Route 4||Mandalay Bay||Tour & Travel Lobby|
|Route 2||MGM Grand||West Wing entrance|
|Route 11||The Mirage||North valet entrance|
|Route 6||New York-New York||Main entrance|
|Route 6||The Orleans||Valet entrance|
|Route 7||Palace Station||West valet entrance|
|Route 13||Planet Hollywood||Tour Bus Area|
|Route 9||Plaza||Plaza Welcome Sign (Main St & Carson Ave.)|
|Route 3||Sam's Town||Back entrance behind the food courts|
|Route 14||Silverton||Main entrance|
|Route 14||South Point||Main entrance (outside Porte-Cochere)|
|Route 7||SLS Las Vegas||Main entrance|
|Route 11||Treasure Island||Bus loading zone, near South Side Valet|
|Route 4||Tropicana||North Entrance|
|Route 7||Westgate||East Tower entrance|
|Route 5||Wynn Las Vegas||South Tower Bus Loop|
Free Shuttle bus service will also be provided from the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show directly to the Thomas & Mack Center (one way route - only) for each night's rodeo performance.
On each day of the rodeo Cowboy Christmas Gift Show will offer complimentary daytime daily round-trip shuttle service to Las Vegas Convention Center, South Halls from the following hotels. Caesars Palace, The Cosmopolitian, Golden Nugget, The Mirage, Park MGM, The Orleans, South Point, and Treasure Island (Ti).
Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm. daily
Stetson Country Christmas at Sands Expo will offer complimentary shuttle to and from the Stetson Country Christmas to the Roper Cowboy Marketplace at Mandalay Bay Convention Center and complimentary shuttle to and from The Orleans.
32nd Annual Downtown Hoedown at Fremont Street Experience
Held the night before the opening of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the 32nd Annual Downtown Hoedown at Fremont Street Experience will feature Free Concerts by top country talents on Dec. 5, 2018, beginning at 4:30 p.m. The Downtown Hoedown will feature free concerts from various artists on Fremont Street Experience's three stages. Free
Jo Dee Messina (Dec. 6), Tanya Tucker (Dec. 7), John Michael Montgomery (Dec. 8), The Charlie Daniels Band (Dec. 9), Tracy Lawrence (Dec. 10), Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan (Dec. 11), Lonestar (Dec. 12), Colt Ford (Dec. 13) and Jamey Johnson (Dec. 14).
Location: The Showroom inside Golden Nugget Las Vegas | Time: 10 pm
|Things To Do||Las Vegas Money Saving Tips|
|Where to Eat||Las Vegas Hotel Promo Codes|
|How to Get Around||CES Las Vegas|
|Taxi Fare from McCarran Airport||New Year's Eve in Las Vegas|
Did you know....
The NFR has been held annually since 1959, and every December since 1985 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
In order to enhance public safety and make the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo venue access more efficient, a new security policy regulates the size and type of bag that may be carried into the Thomas & Mack Center. The clear bag policy will be enforced from Thursday, Dec. 6 thru and including Saturday, Dec. 15. More Info