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Spanos Stadium’s dirt arena will be ready to rock and rodeo — rain or shine

Timelapse: Watch Spanos Stadium be transformed into the Poly Royal Rodeo stage

Cal Poly's Alex G. Spanos Stadium was converted into a rodeo arena for the 77th annual Poly Royal Rodeo, taking place April 7 and 8, 2017. It's the first time the rodeo has been hosted at the 11,000-seat arena.
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Cal Poly's Alex G. Spanos Stadium was converted into a rodeo arena for the 77th annual Poly Royal Rodeo, taking place April 7 and 8, 2017. It's the first time the rodeo has been hosted at the 11,000-seat arena.

Friday’s forecast may call for rain, but that hasn’t cooled Poly Royal Rodeo organizers’ enthusiasm.

“Bring an umbrella. It’s rain or shine,” said AnnMarie Cornejo, spokeswoman for the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

On Thursday afternoon, Cornejo said rodeo prep at Alex G. Spanos Stadium was well underway. This marks the first time that the 77-year-old rodeo will be held at the 11,000-seat venue, which was converted from a football field to a rodeo arena overnight.

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“All the soil and everything is in.”

It took 16 trucks, making an estimated 200 trips, to transport 2,000 cubic yards of donated soil to the stadium. Cornejo said Randy Spraggins’ crew was in the process of installing the animal chutes and corrals mid-day Thursday.

The National Weather Service called for a 60 percent chance of rain Thursday night, increasing to 80 percent on Friday before decreasing to a 30 percent chance of rain Saturday.

16Dirt trucks

200Trips in and out of the stadium

2,000Cubic yards of soil

With rodeo festivities kicking off Friday, Cornejo said the plan is to cover the dirt with a tarp Thursday night, “to protect it from the majority of the rainfall.” After that, “the rodeo will just proceed as planned throughout the day,” she said.

The rodeo is scheduled to begin about 7 p.m. Friday and about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band will perform after the Saturday rodeo.

On Friday, general admission tickets cost $15 to $20 while “chairback” seat tickets cost $35. On Saturday, ticket prices rise to $20 to $25 for general admission and $40 for “chairback” seating.

Cornejo encouraged rodeo attendees to buy their tickets in advance online or by calling 805-756-4849. Tickets also will be sold at the northeast corner of the stadium two hours before the rodeo begins.

Cal Poly’s Alex G. Spanos Stadium will transform into the premier rodeo venue of the Central Coast as it plays host to the 77th annual Poly Royal Rodeo, which takes place April 7-8, 2017.

Colton Farquer, a standout calf roper on the Cal Poly rodeo team, talks about the upcoming Poly Royal Rodeo to be held at Spanos Stadium on April 7 and 8, 2017.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7929, @andrewsheeler

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