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Poly Royal Rodeo cancels Friday event because of rain

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.

When the Poly Royal Rodeo organizers said Friday night’s event would proceed “rain or shine,” it appears they were tempting fate. The first day of the 77th annual rodeo at Alex G. Spanos Stadium has been canceled, Cal Poly announced Friday afternoon.

“They just got more rain than they anticipated,” said AnnMarie Cornejo, spokeswoman for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

Cornejo said they decided to cancel Friday’s event in order to keep the rodeo grounds covered by a tarp, “to be sure they can have a performance (Saturday).”

Preliminary competition to determine placement will still happen Friday night but will be moved to the Cal Poly rodeo grounds.

“Students will still get to do this,” Cornejo said.

The decision came about 3 p.m. Friday, and Cornejo said several people were involved in making the call to cancel.

Friday ticket-holders will be refunded automatically, though a statement from the Cal Poly athletics department said refunds may take five to seven days to process.

Cornejo said there is still general admission seating available for Saturday’s show, though “chairback” seating is no longer available.

Though the rodeo booking at Spanos is partially paid for by ticket sales, Cornejo said organizers purchased rain insurance, “which will help offset any cancellation costs.”

As for the question of what will become of the 2,000 cubic yards of soil once the rodeo is finished, Cornejo said it won’t go to waste: “We’re going to be able to hang on to it and reuse it,” she said. She added that the soil will be stored somewhere on campus until the next rodeo.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7929, @andrewsheeler

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