Preston adds new seating section to its famous rodeo arena

Brian Hanson of Hanson Sports said although he lives near Kansas City Missouri he is familiar with southeast Idaho he graduated from BYU Idaho. He is overseeing the remodeling of the Rodeo arena in Preston.

PRESTON – That Famous Preston Night Rodeo Committee Chairman Kris Beckstead went before the Preston City Council recently to give them an update on the rodeo arena and plans for 2021 rodeo season.

One of the workers on a lift attaches some of parts to the underside of the arena in Preston, Wednesday Feb. 24.

“We got them caught up on the remodeling of the stadium seating and interior fences,” she said.  “We are shooting to have everything done and ready for the High School Rodeo in May.”

The Rodeo Committee contracted with Hanson Sports near Kansas City, Missouri to update 60 to 65 percent of the arena this year. They’ve built college and high school stadiums throughout eight states.

We were seating 5,200 people. When we get it done with the whole arena it will seat 6,443 people,” she said. “We are not only making more handicapped seating, the spaces will be bigger. The new stadium is also five rows higher.”

Hanson Sports brought all the materials to Preston and fabricated the aluminum structure on the spot. The stadium is being built in stages. The first stage is the east and south side of the stadium.

“The $1.8 million project got a boost from Stokes Family Foundation for $300,000 and Doug and Ginger Day of the Day Ranch for $350,000,” Beckstead said. “The money will be given in yearly instalments until their total donations are met.”

Hanson Sports hauled in the product and the fabrication and building is being done at the rodeo grounds.

“We plan to add two more light poles and we are up grading to LED lights,” she said. “Our rodeo in the past has been sold out all three nights and we are hoping when people have seen what we have done they will be more willing to help us with donations.”

Brian Hanson of Hanson Sports said he thought that any delays would be snow related, but the biggest issue was the mud from snowmelt.

I think the people will be happy with what we are building. It is a quality product,” he said. “The seating spaces will grow from 20 inches to 28 inches and five inches more leg room. It’s a safer and better-quality product.”

Folks from Preston claim That Famous Preston Night Rodeo was the first night rodeo west of the Mississippi River and it began in the early 1930s. It’s a tradition for those who are from the area and is the single biggest event that brings people to Preston.

The new section of the Preston rodeo arena is about five rows higher than the old section

The rodeo is a popular one because it is a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rodeo and attracts some of the top rodeo talent in the country because of the prize money.

The community holds events every day prior to the rodeo and they generally have a carnival with rides every evening after the nightly parade. The event brings hundreds of thousands of dollars into the community.

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