Houston Rodeo Closed Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The Houston Rodeo has closed its gates for 2020.

Written by Lauren Laffer
Houston Rodeo Closed Due to Coronavirus Concerns
Luke Bryan performs at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, June 9 during the 2019 CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville. Photo courtesy of CMA

The Houston Rodeo will close early due to concerns over the COVID-19. Houston leaders confirmed the closing during a press conference held at noon local time on Wednesday (3/11).

[We want to] bring people up to date as to where we are today,” began Mayor Sylvester Turner, before addressing the spread of the virus across Houston, adding that they’ve been “monitoring closely to make necessary adjustments.”

He added that by tonight, he would be signing an emergency health declaration for the city that will remain in place for seven days, at which the city council would evaluate and then vote to extend if needed.

Mayor Turner went on to announce that though they “deeply love and support” the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, it has been “impacted” and that after conferring with stakeholders, they decided to put the health of their visitors first and would bring the scheduled event to an end.

During the press conference, the rodeo also confirmed the news in a statement, sharing that the festival would close for the year beginning at 4 p.m. today (3/11).

In the interest of public health, the City of Houston and the Houston Health Department have ordered the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ to close. The Rodeo will respectfully and dutifully comply with the City’s order.

The Rodeo is deeply saddened; however, the safety and well-being of our guests and our community is our top priority. Out of precaution, the City has decided that this is the best course of action for our community.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has been a fabric of this community since 1932. Having to close early is extremely difficult as guests, volunteers, exhibitors, rodeo athletes and entertainers look forward to the 20 days of the Rodeo each year.

We look forward to the 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to continue to promote agriculture, education, entertainment and Western heritage. We will provide additional information as it becomes available. Updates will be posted at rodeohouston.com/2020.

The rodeo was just into its first week as the cancellation came through, with performances from Kane Brown, Cody Johnson, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan and others scheduled.

Maren Morris performed for fans in Houston on March 7, commemorating her trip with a bag of Whataburger as she flew home to Nashville shortly after.

The cancellation announcement comes within hours of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the coronavirus a worldwide pandemic.


“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death,” said Dr. Tedros in a statement from WHO. “I remind all countries that we are calling on you to (2): ready your hospitals, protect and train your #healthworkers, let’s all look out for each other.”

According to KXAN, of the 25 COVID-19 cases in Texas, 14 of them are in the Houston area.

The Houston Rodeo, and its prospective concert series, attracts more than 100,000 visitors on Saturdays and Sundays during its multi-week runs. The event began March 3 and was scheduled to run through March 22.