New in 2019: What to Expect at This Year’s Wrangler NFR

New in 2019: What to Expect at This Year’s Wrangler NFR

New in 2019: What to Expect at This Year's Wrangler NFR
Courtesy of The team Roping Journal Facebook page

Dive in and check out everything that’s new during your stay in Las Vegas during the 2019 Wrangler NFR.

Courtesy of The Team Roping Journal | MICHAELA JAYCOX


The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo ( has a new general manager for 2019, Boyd Polhamus. Having worked alongside Shawn Davis in previous years, Boyd is taking over the reins to produce the rodeo this year. Boyd is committed to producing the same rodeo with the same elements but hopes to sharpen the fan experience.

Coinciding with the NFR, the Junior World Finals (—previously the Junior NFR—will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center ( The Junior World Finals now offers nine events, as pole bending has been added to the roster.

Wade Sundell – by Tom Donoghue


For fans to indulge in the NFR experience, an NFR Extra Podcast ( is currently available. The podcast releases two, one-hour episodes each month, which integrates content from news on the road and contestant features. In addition to the podcast, bi-weekly e-blasts are now being sent to fans. The emails include who, what, when, and where on the road to the NFR.


Shopping at Cowboy Christmas ( will remain a trip highlight, however, the Las Vegas Convention Center will now feature more relaxing areas with seating to kick up your boots. Food options will also be expanded, as a custom created food court will be available upstairs.


Steak takes the scene this year with the return of Smith & Wollensky ( a premiere steakhouse on the Las Vegas strip. Enjoy a hand-butchered 28-day aged USDA prime steak or filet produced by Double R Ranch in a tavern-like atmosphere at Smith & Wollensky. Only at the Las Vegas location can guests indulge in the 64 oz. dry aged American wagyu whole roasted porterhouse with Yukon potatoes severed on a Himalayan salt block.

Whiskey and burgers are the must-haves at Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar ( The house pick on the menu is the Big Whiskey BBQ burger topped with golden onion rings, bacon, and homemade honey whiskey barbecue sauce. When Vegas turns into cowboy town, the 150 whiskeys behind the bar will surely be a fan favorite. Part sports bar, part whiskey bar, and part family-friendly restaurant—this restaurant is sure to please everyone.

NFR Prep – by Tom Donoghue


The newest hotel in Las Vegas—Park MGM (—sports 2,600 rooms, a casino, and restaurants. Boasting a new take on the Vegas resort experience, Park MGM features a hotel within a hotel with NoMad Hotel ( occupying the top four floors. Located in the heart of the strip on Las Vegas Boulevard, Park MGM is down the street from MGM Grand ( where rodeo night-life thrives during the NFR.

Click here for the complete NFR Guide: The Finals