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Cal Poly will haul in tons of dirt to transform football stadium into a rodeo arena

Cal Poly is moving its annual rodeo from the campus arena to Spanos Stadium this year, increasing the capacity from 6,000 to 11,000. A special company will haul in dirt to protect the turf during the event in April.
Cal Poly is moving its annual rodeo from the campus arena to Spanos Stadium this year, increasing the capacity from 6,000 to 11,000. A special company will haul in dirt to protect the turf during the event in April. The Tribune

The 77th annual rodeo at Cal Poly will double the crowd capacity of its venue this year when it moves from Cal Poly’s Rodeo Arena to Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

Last year, 6,000 people attended the standing-room-only rodeo. Spanos Stadium can house more than 11,000 fans. This year’s event will be April 7 and 8.

In order to preserve the field, the university will contract with the company Special T-Tracks Inc., based in Ohio, which will prepare the stadium for the event by protecting the turf and hauling in needed dirt, according to Cal Poly. Similar work is done at the venue used for the national finals in Las Vegas. The dirt will be stored at Cal Poly to use again the following year.

According to Cal Poly officials, college rodeo athletes from throughout the West Coast will compete in events such as barrel racing, breakaway and tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, bull riding and steer wrestling. The rodeo will also include stunts, clown acts and more.

“The Poly Royal Rodeo has been held at the Cal Poly rodeo grounds for more than 70 years,” coach Ben Londo said in a statement. “Relocating the rodeo is monumental. This will not only improve the spectator experience but allow the Cal Poly Rodeo program to make history by potentially becoming the largest college rodeo in the country.”

Tickets for this year’s rodeo will go on sale in February at www.tickets.calpoly.edu. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Cal Poly Rodeo program.

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