2020 CNFR cancelled over COVID-19 concerns, say officials - Casper, WY Oil City News
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2020 CNFR cancelled over COVID-19 concerns, say officials

Rooster Yazzie at the 2019 College National Finals Rodeo (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. —  The College National Finals Rodeo has been cancelled, according to a joint statement released Wednesday by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and The College National Finals Rodeo.

The CNFR was scheduled for June 14 through 20, 2020 in Casper, and would have been held at the Casper Events Center.

“It is with very heavy hearts that the NIRA and the CNFR Committee announce the cancellation of the 2020 College National Finals Rodeo” the written statement from NIRA and CNFR said. “As everyone involved with this event can testify, this is not the outcome we were hoping for, but public safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic is our most important concern. “

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NIRA Commissioner Roger Walters said, “We are devastated to be making this announcement.  We wanted to be competing in Casper this summer, but we have to do the right thing to combat this Pandemic and keep our contestants and the State of Wyoming safe.”

The statement went on to express sorrow to the student athletes, school staff, administrators and parents that will be affected by the cancellation.

“This is devastating for all of us, but mostly for the NIRA athletes.  We share your grief.  This is unprecedented,” the joint statement said. “May we all heal, extend grace, and recover to a better world. We are all in this together and are praying for our rodeo families.”

 The College National Finals Rodeo has been hosted in Casper since 1999. The 2019 CNFR saw 25,679 tickets sold, the second highest number of sales since the rodeo has been in town.

The rodeo event attracts talent from around the world, and represents a significant economic boon to the Natrona County and Casper areas through travelling athletes, attendance, and other tourism related dollars.

Related story: Gauging Perceptions and Value of the CNFR for Casper

The contract with the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association to host the rodeo at the Casper Events Center is set to expire in 2022.

Related story: CNFR’s Future in Casper Rocky

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.