Skip to main content
Las Vegas HowTo

National Finals Rodeo 2018 - Las Vegas

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Las Vegas

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. 2018 marks the 34th 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.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo The 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR)

Dates: Thursday, Dec 6th - Saturday, Dec 15th, 2018
Start Times: All start times in 2018 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

Everything will be open. I mean everything. shops, casinos, bars, restaurants, buffets, attractions. You name it, it will be open during the Wrangler NFR.

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.

Things to do during the NFR week in Las Vegas

Below is a list of 2018 National Finals Rodeo (NFR) Events

Cowboy Corral

2018 Cowboy Corral 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. Keep up your heels and enjoy live entertainment.

Live Performance each night before the Wrangler NFR starting
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

2018 Rodeo Vegas at The Mirage

Rodeo Vegas 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 NFR Events

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.

2018 Gold Buckle Zone at MGM Grand

Enjoy FREE Live music, dancing, free viewing parties and giveaways nightly at the MGM Grand Gold Buckle Zone.

MGM Grand hotel Las Vegas 2018 Gold Buckle Zone Nightly Entertainment
Double Wide - Performing nightly on the Roper Main Stage
Dee Jay Silver - Presented by Roper - Performing nightly on the Roper Main Stage

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 Bucking Ball at Tropicana Las Vegas
Tropicana Las Vegas

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 at The Orleans
The Orleans Hotel & Casino

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

Other Events

Gilley's Saloon at Treasure Island

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

Silverton Casino Presents Cowboys & Indians After Parties hosted by Justin Frazell

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

Cowboy Christmas

Cowboy Christmas Gift Show 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.

Other Gift Shows Around Town

Roper Cowboy Marketplace
Mandalay Bay
Open Daily Dec 6 - 15
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Free Admission / Live Entertainment / Open to the Public
Cinch Western Gift Show
South Point Exhibit Hall Halls C & D
Open Daily Dec 9 - 16
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Free Admission/Open to the Public
Stetson Country Christmas
Sands Expo
Open Daily Dec 6 - 16
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Free Admission/Open to the Public

Las Vegas Christmas Activities
Christmas in Las Vegas

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)?

National Finals Rodeo

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 PRCA World Standings - All-Around

1 Tuf Cooper $211,367.35
2 Trevor Brazile $183,091.70
3 Rhen Richard $137,179.11
4 Ryle Smith $108,587.55
5 Steven Dent $107,965.87
6 Curtis Cassidy $96,042.45
7 Paul David Tierney $82,067.78
8 Jordan Ketscher $71,658.54
9 Marcus Theriot $62,796.20
10 Dakota Eldridge $60,005.28
11 Clayton Hass $59,712.20
12 Seth Hall $55,324.35
13 Russell Cardoza $51,350.83
14 Tanner Green $50,646.18
15 Chance Oftedahl $49,216.16
16 Cody Doescher $47,205.13
17 Chant DeForest $38,129.01
18 Eli Lord $37,889.05
19 Trell Etbauer $37,554.10
20 Hadley DeShazo $36,709.66
NFR satellite feed
NFR Seating Chart

2018 National Finals Rodeo (NFR) on a tight budget

Happy Las Vegas Christmas

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.

Mirage - National Finals Rodeo Offer

2018 Wrangler NFR Autograph Sessions

Barrel Racers Friday, December 7 Noon - 2 p.m. Golden Nugget - The Grand Foyer
Tie-Down Ropers Saturday, December 8 Noon - 2 p.m. MGM Grand (Main Lobby)
Team Ropers Monday, December 10 Noon - 2 p.m. Cowboy Christmas - Rodeo Way
Steer Wrestlers Tuesday, December 11 Noon - 2 p.m. Cowboy Christmas - Rodeo Way
Bull Riders Wednesday, December 12 Noon - 2 p.m. Gilley's Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que (inside Treasure Island)
Bareback Riders Thursday, December 13 Noon - 2 p.m. New York-New York Hotel & Casino - (The Bar at Times Square)
Saddle Bronc Riders Friday, December 14 Noon - 2 p.m. Harrah's - Toby Keith's I Love this Bar & Grill

**Autograph sessions are FREE and open to the public on a first come/first served basis. Contestants depart the autograph session at 2 p.m.

2018 National Finals Rodeo FREE Shuttle Bus Service

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Free Shuttle

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

NFR Express Shuttle

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 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 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 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

Distance to Thomas & Mack CenterFree 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.

Cowboy Christmas Express Shuttle
Cowboy Christmas Gift Show

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 Free Shuttle
Stetson Country Christmas

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.

2018 National Finals Rodeo Entertainment

32nd Annual Downtown Hoedown at Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Hoedown Las Vegas

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 (listed below) on Fremont Street Experience's three stages. Free

Headliner schedule for the 32nd Annual Downtown Hoedown:

4:30 p.m. - Corb Lund - Main Street Stage
5:40 p.m. - Haley & Michaels - 1st Street Stage
6:30 p.m. - Roots & Boots Tour Featuring Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and Collin Raye - 3rd Street Stage
8:40 p.m. - Granger Smith - 1st Street Stage
9:50 p.m. - Chris Janson - 3rd Street Stage

Rodney Carrington National Finals Rodeo Las Vegas

Need a good laugh? Then don't miss Hilarious Texas native Rodney Carrington as he brings his redneck brand of comedy to the MGM Grand just in time for the National Finals Rodeo.
Dates: December 6 - 15, 2018

Tickets: $79
BUY TICKETS

Concerts during Wrangler NFR week

Golden Nugget Las Vegas

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

Caesars Palace Las Vegas

"REBA, BROOKS & DUNN: TOGETHER IN VEGAS" December 5, 7, 8, 12, 14 and 15.
The Colosseum at Caesars Palace

Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

"FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS" Dec.1, 5, 7, 8, and 11.
Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

Gary Allan - Dec. 14 and 15.
The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Park MGM

Kane Brown - Dec. 15.
Park Theater at Park MGM

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Kip Moore / Jon Pardi - Dec. 15.
The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Related Content

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

Search

Thomas & Mack Center Las Vegas
University of Nevada
4505 S. Maryland Pkwy. Las Vegas, NV, 89154
Bus routes to Thomas & Mack Center: 108, 109, 201, 202, and Centennial Express (CX)

Did you know....
The NFR has been held annually since 1959, and every December since 1985 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Absinthe Discount Tickets
ABSINTHE Las Vegas Show from $99

Blue Man Group Discount Tickets
Blue Man Group from $53

WNFR Clear Bag Policy
Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

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

50 things to do in las vegas

Las Vegas No Nos

Upcoming Events...

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 2018


Christmas in Las Vegas

December 31, 2018 New Year's Eve
January 8 - 11, 2019 CES Las Vegas
January 22 – 25, 2019 SHOT Show