Changes planned for bull riding classic

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Over the past several years, the Steamboat Springs Pro Bull Riding Classic has grown into one of the area's main Labor Day weekend attractions.

Promoter Brent Romick isn't expecting this year's classic to be any different. It will take place on Aug. 31 as part of the Steamboat Springs Rockin' Roundup.

"This might be one of the most popular Challenger Tour events in the country," Romick said. "We just want to build on that."

The Challenger Tour is one of two tours on the Professional Bull Riders circuit.

This year's edition of the Classic will be very similar to last year. Once again the top-45 bull riders on the Challenger Tour Points list will be matched up with 45 of the rankest bulls provided by 12 of the best stock contractors in the business.

The top-10 riders will then advance to a short go, which will feature an elite lineup of livestock.

However, there will be a few changes.

In an effort to make the event more enjoyable for spectators, Romick said there will be added security and more emphasis placed on advanced ticket sales.

"Seventy-seven percent of the tickets this year will be pre-sold," Romick said.

He also said the number of reserved seats that will be sold for the event will be limited. Only fans holding a reserved-seat ticket will be guaranteed admission to the covered sections of the arena. General admission will be limited to the concrete grandstands.

Romick said there are 667 covered reserved seats at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena. That includes space for adults and children.

There also will be 320 in a closed section on the arena floor and 2,100 general admission seated.

"We want to make this a quality experience," Romick said. "So we want to take steps to make sure that we do not oversell any of the sections for the event. We want to make sure that there is a seat for (everyone)."

Romick said this year's gate also would be closed once ticket sales reach 3,700 people. He feels that's the highest number of tickets holders the arena can accommodate.

Romick said other changes to help improve the event include moving pre-event bands into the arena so spectators can enjoy the music from their seats before the event.

He also plans on having bands, autograph sessions and music after the bull riding in an effort to avoid traffic jams that result from a mass exodus after the event.

"We want to create a smooth flow into the event and out of the event," Romick said.

His advice to spectators for avoiding the headaches that can go along with a major event such as this is to buy presale tickets, and to show up early.

Presale ticket holders will be allowed to enter the arena beginning at 5:30 p.m. Those buying tickets at the gate will have to wait until 6 p.m. to enter the arena.

Advance tickets can be purchased at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, All That Jazz, F.M. Light and Sons and Soda Creek Western Wear.

--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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