New Arena, Parking Planned For Reno Rodeo
Reno Rodeo officials want to break ground on a 15,000-seat arena by 2021.
Big changes could be coming to the Reno Rodeo that includes a state-of-the-art arena. Officials want to break ground on a 15,000-seat arena by 2021. That is about 50 percent bigger than the existing arena that seats more than 9,000 fans.
"The facility has fallen into disrepair and I think there's a lot of events that could be happening here year-round that are not," Clint Thiesse, Past President of the Reno Rodeo said. "We would plan to have a lot of stadium seating in it, more luxury boxes than we've got here, more outdoor boxes."
The Reno Rodeo has been held in the same location for nearly 100 years and the arena has not had an upgrade for decades. The new one would double the amount of seats for people with disabilities and would include elevators and bathrooms.
"No more porta-potties," Thiesse said. "We're trying to have indoor plumbing at all the facilities. Everything would be ADA compliant."
Thiesse serves on the Legacy Project, which includes the planned upgrades. Once the arena is built, the existing one would be removed and a parking structure would be built on the southwest corner of the property. It could have 2,400 parking spaces or more, depending on funding. The bottom level of the garage would be used for horse stalls. The temporary and permanent stalls would be removed.
"If we concentrate all those stalls under that parking structure, we can get a lot more horses and stalls in a smaller area," Thiesse said.
Rough stock animals like calves, steers and bulls would remain in outdoor pens. If there is enough funding, shade structures could be provided.
The entire property would look different and the Reno Livestock Events Center would be the only existing building remaining. A courtyard would go between that building and the parking structure.
"The existing Livestock Events Center would just get refurbished on the outside and whatever needs to happen inside but everything else would be built basically around that cornerstone," Thiesse said.
That includes a new exhibit hall and a first-class equestrian facility that would allow year-round events for team ropers and cutters.
"There's a whole gamut that are going down to Las Vegas nor or in California and we would like to keep them and have them come here," Thiesse said.
Engineers have not given a price estimate but Thiesse expects the cost to be about $120 million. Figuring out how to finance the project is the first step but he says it will be worth the money.
"I think we can generate a lot of tourism business just through the events that they could bring to this facility," Thiesse said.
Crews would not remove the existing rodeo arena until the new one is completed, ensuring that the Reno Rodeo will not be interrupted during construction.