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Poly Royal Rodeo Celebrates 80 Years on April 17 and 18 at Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The 80th annual Poly Royal Rodeo will once again be staged in Cal Poly’s premiere arena, Alex G. Spanos Stadium, bringing a lively performance to commemorate eight decades of history.

New this year, the Poly Royal PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Classic will take place in Spanos Stadium on Friday, April 17. The Poly Royal CINCH Chute Out will be held Saturday, April 18, followed by a concert presented by Associated Students, Inc. The venue allows for a capacity of 11,000 spectators each night.

Tickets will go on sale Saturday, Feb. 15, at All proceeds from the event will benefit the Cal Poly Rodeo Program.

Friday’s new Poly Royal PBR Classic, part of the PBR Velocity Tour, brings the top bull riders from around the world for a one-night-only competition of heart-pounding action. Those riders will compete for a chance to take home the first-ever Poly Royal PBR Classic buckle, along with cash and points toward the 2020 Velocity Tour Championship. The PBR Velocity Tour will visit more than 30 cities in the 2020 season and is making its first-ever stop in San Luis Obispo to take part in the annual Poly Royal Rodeo weekend.

“Collaborating with PBR to bring its first-class show to San Luis Obispo is a nice complement to all that the Cal Poly Rodeo program continues to achieve,” Cal Poly Rodeo Coach Ben Londo said. “We have grown from humble roots to be the largest collegiate rodeo performance in the nation. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t feel gratitude for our fans and supporters — they are the reason we are where we are today.”

The Friday evening event is slated for 7 p.m. April 17. Tickets are $5 for children ages 2 to 10, $25 for students, $30 for general admission and $45 for chair-back seats. Admission is free for children under 2.

Saturday’s Poly Royal CINCH Chute Out will feature the top collegiate rodeo athletes from around the West Coast who have advanced to the championship performance from the weekend’s earlier rounds. Athletes will compete for a championship in events such as barrel racing, team roping, breakaway roping, tie down roping, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding and steer wrestling. The rodeo will also include stunts, extreme motocross stuntmen the Flying Cowboyz, clown acts, and more.

The championship round on Saturday, April 18, is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m., followed by a headliner concert to be announced soon. Tickets are $15 for children ages 2 to 10, $30 for students, $35 for general admission, and $55 for chair-back seats. Admission is free for children under 2.

The Poly Royal Rodeo is the marquee event on campus during Cal Poly’s annual Open House. With a performance each night, followed by a concert Saturday night, many of the 45,000 people on campus that weekend will have an opportunity to enjoy the event.

 About Cal Poly Rodeo

Cal Poly Rodeo, coached by Ben Londo, is one of the most successful programs in the history of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). Cal Poly sent six men to the inaugural College National Finals Rodeo in 1949. Since then, Cal Poly Rodeo’s student-athletes have won more national titles than any other college rodeo program— and 45 national titles. The program is open to all Cal Poly students.

About Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences ( is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, including ranch land, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. It is the fifth-largest college of agriculture in the country, with 4,000 undergraduate students.

Photo information: Rodeo.jpg — A competitor participates in the 2019 Poly Royal Rodeo. Photo credit: Phil Doyle. Higher-resolution image available upon request.


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