SAN ANTONIO — There is a push to delay the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. With just a week to saddle up, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff is asking organizers to postpone. The judge said the San Antonio Rodeo is the only one in Texas continuing as planned.
Judge Wolff sent a letter to the chair of the rodeo dated the same day as when Fiesta was announced it was being pushed back until June. Judge Wolff wrote the two-week rodeo should be delayed, too.
"Now we are seeing this variant coming to the United States," he said. "And it is spreading more and more."
The judge citied new coronavirus variants, and the current COVID situation in the county. He also said Austin and Fort Worth canceled their rodeos and Houston postponed.
"Any time you get more than a 100 people together right now as the rate that we have somebody in there is going to have COVID," said Metro Heath Medical Director Dr. Junda Woo. "It is better to wait."
A total of 56,000 people are expected at the rodeo, with about 4,000 each night. The judge's letter warned about the challenge of such large crowds.
"The other purpose of it was to let them know how difficult it is to control the event," he said. And the steps they are going to have to take to control it. When the city had the football game, they had a difficult time to remove people from the Alamodome because they weren't wearing masks."
According to its website, the rodeo says face coverings will be required for anyone over the age of four. Social distancing will be enforced, and all entrances will require temperature screenings. The judge said the event can go on as long as it follows the emergency orders. Judge Wolff said he does not have the legal authority to shut it down.
"Both the Spurs and the rodeo both have a lease hold interest and the facilities out there," he said. "As long as they're following state law which they are they can continue with their event."
The San Antonio Rodeo & Stock Show released the following statement:
“The safety of our rodeo athletes, patrons and volunteers is of utmost importance to our sporting event that raises funds to help educate the youth of Texas,” said Communications & Public Relations Manager Lauren Sides. “The precautionary measures we are implementing during the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo not only adheres to, but also exceeds current local and state health guidelines.”