Attendance cut in half and the chucks will return in 2022: Calgary Stampede 2021

CALGARY — Officials with the Calgary Stampede says this year’s event was a success, despite the attendance numbers taking a big hit.

“We know initially there may have been some skepticism,” said CEO Dana Peers.

“But we committed ourselves to open, ongoing an honest communication.”

The Calgary Stampede says it saw daily attendance numbers average around 50,000, but add a more detailed attendance record will be known on Monday, once the gates shut Sunday night.

Staff say that of those who attended this year, 73 per cent are Calgarians, 13 per cent from other areas in Alberta and 12 per cent were from other parts of Canada.

The Stampede also welcomed around 82,000 front line workers.

Event organizers are also proud of the fact it was the first time in Canada that a large scale event of this size was hosted, since the start of the pandemic.

The Nashville North Stampede tent required all partiers to have proof of vaccination or take a rapid PCR test on-site.

Over 10 days, not including Sunday, more than 60,000 people met the pre-entry requirement.

About 73 percent chose to show proof of vaccination, with the other 27 percent being tested.

Of those nearly 16,200 people who received tests, fewer than 18 people tested positive for the virus. All were sent home and asked to contact Alberta Health Services to secure formal testing.

“I’ve been watching friends who haven’t seen each other for two years getting together and making plans for the rest of the summer,” said president Steve McDonough.

“If the Calgary Stampede had anything to do with that, I’m super proud.”

The Calgary Stampede decided to cancel the chuckwagon races for this year, which was devastating news for many local chuck drivers.

But with chuck events occurring in High River and Strathmore this month, the Stampede does not regret its decision.

“We had to make some very difficult decisions early on,” said Peers. “And we certainly look forward to chuckwagon racing again in 2022.”

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In 2019, the Stampede grossed $154 million and turned a profit of $2.2 million.

In 2020, the cancelled Stampede generated $25 million in revenue, resulting in a loss of $26.5 million.

Officials were not able to provide profit margins or deficits for this year until the event concludes.

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