Montana State University

MSU Rodeo sets new attendance records for spring rodeo

April 20, 2017 -- MSU News Service

A bareback bronc rider from University of Montana Western competes in the Montana State University Spring Rodeo on Thursday, April 6, 2017, at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman, Mont. MSU's 2017 spring rodeo set attendance records with more than 8,000 attendees during the four performances. MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

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Attendance at MSU’s recent spring rodeo set new attendance records, MSU officials have announced.

More than 8,100 people attended the four performances of the rodeo, held the first weekend in April, according to Andy Bolich, head coach of the MSU Rodeo Team. Bolich said that is the highest attendance in the nearly two decades that records have been kept for the annual spring event.

“This continues an upward trend for the rodeo,” he said. “We’ve seen a 14 percent increase in total attendance from the rodeo since 2012.”

Bolich said he is appreciative of the growing support for the team, which functions independently from MSU athletics. He said the team has worked to become more visible in the community, organizing visits to area elementary schools where rodeo athletes “teach kids about our sport and create young fans.”

In addition, he said the team has boosted MSU student awareness the last couple of years with a “rodeo walk” through the campus to kick off rodeo week.

“The amount of community support for the rodeo program is overwhelming and it really shows our student athletes that MSU rodeo is important to our town and western heritage,” said Bolich, who in addition to serving as coach is a former MSU rodeo athlete.

Bolich said his team has four more rodeos left in the spring season – Glendive, Miles City and Missoula and a final conference rodeo in Great Falls the first weekend in May.

Andy Bolich (406) 994-2403, andybolich@montana.edu

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