'King George' sets new rodeo, Reliant Stadium attendance record


by Rucks Russell & KHOU.com staff


Posted on March 18, 2013 at 5:41 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 18 at 9:03 AM

HOUSTON —- George Strait, or “King George” as some have called him, put on a big show at Reliant Center to close out this year’s Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and he set a new record in the process.

The country legend reeled in a whopping 80,020 people for the rodeo’s final day. The entire rodeo this year was near record, with more than 2.2 million fans attending, according to rodeo officials.

RodeoHouston said while Strait’s performance set a new all-time attendance record, you have to “put an asterisk” by his (alleged) last rodeo show. That’s because Sunday’s crowd was only there for George Strait – the actual last day of the rodeo was on Saturday.

The show was part of Strait’s farewell tour. He says he’s going to focus on studio albums and select concerts moving forward.

Traveling with Strait was country music star Martina McBride, but some local artists living out their own dream took to the stage first.

Members of the Randy Rogers Band called performing with their music hero a true honor.

“If you would have told me that in the 6th grade when I was growing up, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Randy Rogers.

“I’m speechless,” said fellow band member Les Lawless.  “I don’t know what to say honestly.”

Fans had a lot to say and seemed thrilled that the 82nd Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show was getting a country music royalty sendoff.

“This will be the best rodeo ever,” said one fan while clutching a pair concert tickets.

“I haven’t been here in 13 years and I’m so excited,” another fan said.