3/20/2006 Houston-- Houston bid farewell to the most profitable livestock and rodeo in its history Sunday night. Even though overall attendance dropped 1 percent from last year, auction buyers propelled the 2006 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to several new financial records.
Partially attributed to Saturday night's Brooks & Dunn performance, which drew in a record crowd and boosted ticket sales, all five junior market auctions also pulled in at least $1 million each for the first time ever. That mean 11 percent more money for the Houston rodeo's education fund.
The year's show came complete with 29,000 livestock, 300 commercial exhibitors, three Ferris wheels, two mechanical bulls and three weeks of rough riding rodeo events. Some surprises at this year's Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo were the canceled performance by Sheryl Crow due to her battle with breast cancer, Rock band Maroon 5 apologizing for the bad word mishap at the show, and a steer died from a neck injury suffered during a contest.
The bright side of the events included eight junior market show animals sold for record prices, bringing the junior market auction total to a preliminary figure of $7,723,400, an all-time high and nearly $1 million more than last year. Carnival and food sales rose 20 and 12 percent respectively from last year. Concert seats tickets were up about 1 percent from last year due to people buying more expensive seating this year.
Commercial exhibitors had a mixed bag of results. Some reported better business this year while others reported a drop in sales due to some slow weekdays. Officials are so hyped up about the rodeo that they plan to start planning for the 2007 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo today.