The Rodeo beat out the paid attendance record set two years ago, with nearly 1.3 million paid visitors. Overall attendance, the number of visitors for all the activities at the Rodeo, didn't set a record but still totaled almost 2.6 million visitors. Livestock Show and Rodeo president Skip Wagner says it's the product that draws visitors.
"We've really upgraded our presentation out here, from the sound and the screens in the stadium to adding Fun on the Farm, our wine garden, AgVenture, a number of horse shows and other shows out here during the day. I think we've really broadened our appeal beyond what would have been a core audience years ago to just the general Houston community."
Wagner says even though things are just now being packed away, plans for next year's three-week run have already started.
"We already began planning for next year really before this year started and we do a lot of research during the show that then helps us finalize those plans over the next couple of months, put budgets in place and get it all going."
Wagner says the Livestock Show and Rodeo expects to hand-out around $20 million dollars in scholarships and grants this year, which would be a record.