Athens Review, Athens, Texas

April 10, 2013

Cowboys comin’ to town

PCRA rodeo announcer tells of business benefits

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — PCRA Rodeo announcer T.C. Long told the Athens Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, that it can be a big boost for the city’s businesses when the cowboys come to town.

The 28th annual PRCA Stampede Rodeo comes out of the chute April 26-27 at the Henderson County Fairpark Complex. It’s sponsored again this year by Elder Dodge and Kevin Lilly McDonald’s.

Long, who lives in Athens, has been announcing rodeo events since he took the mic at a play day at age 14. In 2005, at age 22, he was accepted into the PRCA as a professional announcer.

Long challenged local businesses to look for creative ways of promoting the event, which in turn, will bring business to the city.

“Most of you think only of that night that people come to the rodeo, when the people walk through the gate,” Long said. “But stock contractors get to town about a week before the rodeo. He probably has six to seven guys who are working for him full time.”

The stock contractor for this year’s PRCA Stampede Rodeo is Sammy Andrews. 

The rodeo announcers, entertainers, and other participants will also be spending money in the city in the days before the bucking and roping, Long said.

Long said rodeo remains one of America’s favorite sports to watch live, coming in number seven on the list, and has a promising future on television. The televised events can turn a remote flipper into a potential fan.

“Rodeo is one of the most-watched sports, because it’s televised,” Long said. “You can watch a lot of different levels of rodeo on television.”

Shows like “The Voice” and “Duck Dynasty” now compete with rodeo events for viewers, Long said. But he sees a rebound in rodeo viewers.

“PRCA really stepped up to the plate and joined GAC (Great American Country),” Long said. “I think its creating fans.”

Long said the Athens event will have a special extra special treat this year with the appearance of barrel-man John Harrison.

“He’s a great entertainer,” Long said.

Gates open at 5 p.m., with the rodeo beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for children under 12,  $10 pre-sold for adults and $12 at the gate.

Tickets are available at Lone Star Western Wear, Kathy's Boutique, Cavender's, Citizen's National Bank, Texas Trust Credit Union or at the Athens Chamber of Commerce.