College Sports

It’s the largest college rodeo in the U.S. — and again, it’ll be right here at Cal Poly

The 78th annual Poly Royal Rodeo will be held at Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Cal Poly’s campus in San Luis Obispo for the second consecutive year, the school announced Thursday.

The 11,000-seat venue typically used for Cal Poly football and soccer games filled up with more than 10,000 spectators for last year’s event — despite a rainout on the first night of competition.

Last year, workers spread out 1,500 sheets of plywood and then covered them in 2,000 cubic yards of dirt to convert the grass football field into a rodeo arena.

This year’s rodeo will be held April 13-14 and will feature two back-to-back evening performances followed by a concert Saturday night, according to a Cal Poly news release.

Texas country music star Aaron Watson is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and the concert is being hosted by the Cal Poly Associated Students Inc.

Tickets are currently available for purchase online, and all proceeds from the event will benefit the Cal Poly Rodeo program.

“The Poly Royal Rodeo has been a part of Cal Poly for nearly eight decades,” coach Ben Londo said. “Last year, with hard work and community support, we made history by putting on the largest collegiate rodeo in the nation. We are ready to do it again.”

The first night of competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on April 13, and will include kid-friendly activities. Children under 10 years old will get in free. Tickets are $20 for students, $25 for general admission and $40 for chair-back seats.

The final rodeo event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on April 14, followed by a live concert featureing a headliner to be announced soon, the release said.

Tickets for Saturday’s event are $10 for children ages 2 to 10, $25 for students, $30 for general admission and $50 for chair-back seats. Admission is free for children 2 or younger.

College rodeo athletes from all over the West Coast will compete in events such as barrel racing, team roping, breakaway roping, tie down roping, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding and steer wrestling.

The rodeo also will include stunts, clown acts, calf dressing and more, the release said.