A Closer Look at the Big Changes for THE AMERICAN 2019
May 31, 2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) Big changes are coming to RFD-TV’S THE AMERICAN. At a press conference in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday, top executives from RFD-TV, the PRCA and the Dallas Cowboys organization – flanked by rodeo athletes – laid out some major enhancements to what’s already a wildly successful event.
First off: a new five year deal with AT&T stadium, and a brand new season ticket package where your purchase guarantees you the same seats for 5 years of action at THE AMERICAN. Dallas Cowboys COO, EVP and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones says the future looks bright for this new partnership.
Also, the richest one day rodeo now becomes a two-day event, spanning the weekend of March 2 and 3, 2019, and, with an additional $355,000 in prize money, the pot grows to more than $2.3 million.
Two additional events will be featured: breakaway roping and #10 team roping. Randy Bernard, whose vision for THE AMERICAN has been instrumental from the beginning in setting a trajectory that has arrived at this exciting juncture, isn't the only one who thinks that the addition of breakaway will have a big impact on the industry. Seventeen time world champion Jackie Crawford echoes that sentiment. The addition of breakaway is expected to bring in another 1,000 qualifiers for THE AMERICAN and give athletes the chance to compete for a payout they can't get anywhere else.
And saving what is perhaps the very best news for last, THE AMERICAN now becomes a PRCA sanctioned event, with a new, richer, deeper prize money package that pays the top four contestants in each category. This change in particular will effect rodeo athletes in a big way. PRCA’s new CEO George Taylor says its the perfect partnership. The PRCA sanction means that money earned at THE AMERICAN will impact contestants aiming to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. 2016 world champion and first AMERICAN tie down roping winner Tyson Durfey was hardly able to contain his excitement at the possibilities this opens up. First-ever AMERICAN steer wrestling champion Hunter Cure, who could be well on his way to winning his third gold buckle if he wins the 2019 AMERICAN, shares the enthusiasm.
RFD-TV Founder and President Patrick Gottsch has invested millions of dollars over the THE AMERICAN's five year history toward seeing cowboys and cowgirls dreams come true. He summed it all up by saying, “I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished in five years. The proudest day each year for me is walking into AT&T Stadium on the day that THE AMERICAN is being held. I have people from all over the country just walk up or walk by and give a thumbs up, and have these big smiles on their face. I'm so grateful to the Jones family, and to John Hickman and to Chad Estes, to give us five years to keep building on this.”
Watch the above videos to get the full interviews with all of the key players and get their full takes on these thrilling developments.