Famed Texas prison rodeo arena being demolished in Huntsville

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by Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on February 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Workers in Huntsville have been demolishing the home of the old Texas Prison Rodeo.

Crews on Wednesday continued tearing down the decades-old complex that served as the arena for what was billed as "The Wildest Show Behind Bars."

Some scenes from the 1980 movie "Urban Cowboy" were filmed at the arena. Scott Glenn portrayed a prisoner who competed in the rodeo, with newlyweds John Travolta and Debra Winger in the crowd.

The arena, on the grounds of the Huntsville Unit, has been quiet since the last rodeo was held in 1986. Prison system officials, faced with limited resources for repairs, scrapped the rodeo that had attracted big-name entertainers and thousands of spectators each Sunday in October.

The site became a tourist attraction in Huntsville, about 75 miles north of Houston.

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