What You Need to Know When Buying Calgary Stampede Rodeo and Evening Show Tickets
The earlier you buy, the better your options.
Day 8 of the 2014 GMC Rangeland Derby.
Photography by Mike Ridewood courtesy of Calgary Stampede
The canvas auction on March 19 is a reminder that the Calgary Stampede is happening soon(ish) and that the chuckwagon races (with the Grandstand show) and rodeo are two Stampede experiences worth getting tickets to. Here's what you need to know when making your purchase.
About buying tickets in general
Tickets can be purchased here through the Calgary Stampede and Ticketmaster.
A ticket purchased in advance also gets you into Stampede Park, which means you don't also have to pay admission. Plus you get to go through the ticket holder line at the gates, which is much quicker.
For both the rodeo and the evening show, you can buy standing room spots the day-of at the park starting at 11 a.m.
The Calgary Stampede has a virtual venue program on its website that lets you see 360 degree views from each seat and compare sections so that you get exactly what you want.
The chuckwagon races and rodeo happen everyday of the Stampede with the finals for both on July 12. If you had to choose one day to see either, choose that last Sunday when the stakes are the highest. Over the course of 10 days, more than $2 million in prize money is given away at the rodeo with more than $1million of that doled out on Showdown Sunday. The GMC Rangeland Derby (the chuckwagons) gives out $1.15 million in prize money.
Zoom-in to get 360 degree views from each seat and compare sections with the Calgary Stampede's Virtual Venue.
The rodeo starts at 1:15 p.m. You’ll see six events each day including ladies barrel racing, bareback, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc and bull riding. The rodeo is tournament style with athletes divided into two pools. The top four money makers in each pool advance to Showdown Sunday.
Prices in the regular stands range from $40 (in the ends of level 7) to $109 (level 1 centre).
The rodeo is an afternoon event, which means sun is a factor. The end seats in the Grandstand in particular are sunny the entire time (assuming there isn’t a rain storm) so try for the middle and use the virtual venue program on the website to see where the shade will be. Remember the Grandstand seats are facing east.
The Calgary Stampede is the only place you are going to see anything like this. The evening show begins with the GMC Rangeland Derby at 7:45 p.m. It includes four wagons in nine heats. Essentially, the wagons are trying to get across the finish line first and the race includes a figure-eight formation to start and outriders to add some excitement.
After the chucks is the TransAlta Grandstand show. Think song and dance, acrobatics and pyrotechnics that end with fireworks. This year Alberta Ballet dancers will be part of the show.
Tickets range from $56 (level 7 ends) to $107 in the clubhouse.
Of course there are the VIP sections with food, drink, viewing platforms and other bells and whistles that you can buy your way into for the ultimate Stampede experience. The fancy seats include the 30X Saloon, The Lazy S, Ranahans and luxury infield suites. Premium seats are pricey (think in the thousands) and are usually meant for groups owning a table for four during the entire 10 days in Ranahans or booking a luxury infield suite for 50 for an afternoon or evening show. These are coveted spots, often taken up by longtime Stampede supporters or companies wanting to schmooze in style. Spaces are usually booked way in advance, but you can try your luck by contacting the premium seating sales group.
The Calgary Stampede also bundles Rodeo and Evening Show tickets with other events including its concerts (Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean in 2015) and the parade. You can also buy a Family Fun Pack, a Two Day Thrill package or the Chaps and Chucks package that come with additional souvenirs and Stampede Park perks.
The Calgary Stampede takes place July 3 to 12. For more information and to buy your rodeo and evening show show tickets, visit calgarystampede.com