The social media universe lit up last night on opening night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with star entertainer Garth Brooks on the schedule. Photos abounded on Twitter from fans unable to get into the NRG stadium quickly.
People lined up well before the 6:45 p.m. rodeo start but gates that were supposed to open at 5:45 p.m. didn't. According to rodeo officials a combination of factors caused the delay in access — resulting in most of the rodeo cowboys and girls performing before a very sparse crowd.
There was a medical emergency, a representative said. Adding to that was unfamiliarity with the new rodeo flash seats system where people could just show they had tickets on their phones. And, she said, they just hadn't expected people to show up that early. On Garth Brooks night?
Having gone last night, we'd also like to say that having one security check to funnel through at each stadium entrance really slowed things down.
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Brittany Rader, director of Media Relations and Communications for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo issued this statement just before 9 p.m. Monday in regards to our questions:
"Due to the excitement of opening day at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ and Garth Brooks in concert, we experienced visitors lining up at the gates earlier than normal, which caused congestion at some gates. To ensure guests could enter the gates and enjoy the rodeo and concert, we visually scanned their ticket or mobile app, instead of digitally scanning, in order to alleviate the congestion. We have now resumed normal scanning procedures."
RodeoHouston will employ new strategies, including opening the gates sooner, to get people in more easily, the rep told us. Good thing since Brooks is closing the rodeo as well this year.