June 28: Last Best Chance for Businesses to Get Ready for 30K Visitors Coming

Released June 21, 2021

Lincoln, Lancaster County and Nebraska organizations have 21 days left to get ready for the main influx of 30,000 visitors coming to stay or visit on the Lancaster Event Center Fairgrounds (LEC) in Lincoln, Nebraska for the National High School Finals Rodeo July 18-24—the world’s largest rodeo from a contestant perspective. 

Final ad deadlines for businesses are June 28th to reach the NHSFR visitors on grounds.

2,000 vendors and staff start arriving July 12 and the 1,700 contestants and their families (totaling around 8,000 people) arrive July 15-17.

These visitors will each stay 7-10 days on grounds and in nearby lodging options totaling 110,000 visitor days when combined with the thousands of rodeo fans and shoppers to visit each day.  These visitors will drive new spending equivalent of $16M or 4 football Saturdays over a week to Lincoln/Lancaster County businesses in addition to statewide business impact, according to Dr. Eric Thompson, UNL Bureau of Business Research.

NHSFR Lincoln has been preparing for potentially more extended family members, rodeo fans & shoppers than recent NHSFRs in towns of 30,000 in Wyoming. These visitors will be attracted to the additional lodging, attractions, retail and restaurant options offered by Lincoln, which have been featured in a multi-year $350K national marketing campaign supported by Nebraska Tourism grants.  

“In fact in Wyoming, extended family members wanting to attend this “Olympics of HS rodeo” have been deterred due to lack of lodging within an hour radius in Wyoming which is why a key headline in the national ad campaign has been ‘Room for the Whole Family’,” commented Lyn Wineman, marketing strategist with KidGlov.

Another unique characteristic of this international event for local businesses to prepare for is due to the length of the 3-day check-in process and contestants having to wait for their turns or “go’s” in the 13 rodeo competitions stretching across 7 days, these adventurous contestants and their families will have significant amount of time to explore Lincoln and Nebraska between July 15-24.

“NHSRA has been telling us from day one that when they go to a new location that the number one thing that happens in the city and state’s businesses and residents never fully grasp just how big this event is until it’s here.” said LEC Fairgrounds managing director Amy Dickerson. “We can’t express enough how important it is for businesses to get ready now whether that’s ordering extra inventory, scheduling staff or taking advantage of the remaining advertising opportunities to better reach these visitors.”



Final Deadline Extension to June 28 for Advertising, Vendor and Volunteering Opportunities:

With the pandemic shortening the window for selling advertising sponsorships, food and tradeshow vendor booths as well as getting volunteers signed up, there are still a few remaining spots to fill.

  • Advertising/sponsorships – contact Alex Nervig at 441.3860 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Trade Show Vendors in region’s largest Western-themed Expo of the year – contact Hoyt Kraeger at 402.441.1814 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Volunteers – contact Ashley Oltman at 402.441.1827 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“We’re calling on our ‘Husker Spirit’ to help Lincoln, Nebraska not only meet but surpass what the communities of 30,000 in Wyoming have done to support the NHSRA on its first visit back to Nebraska in decades,” said Amy Dickerson, Managing Director of the fairgrounds.  “We’re a small team.  We really encourage businesses and volunteers to just give us a quick call at 402-441-6545, hit 0 and ask to get signed up.”


What Businesses Can Do Now to be Ready:

1. Plan to have extended hours.

2. Schedule extra staff.

3. Order extra inventory to meet these visitors’ unique needs.

4. Contact their similar counterpart stores in Gillette & Rock Springs WY (previous NHSFR locations) to get idea of what to expect.

Type of products and services to stock up on based on type of business are available here.  



To get involved, visit www.NHSFRLincoln.org for more info and contact Alex Nervig at 402.441.3860

or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible before final deadline on Friday, June 28th.