Soggy Stampede weather dampens attendance by 6.9%
10-day event still managed to crack the 1-million mark
The Calgary Stampede wrapped up Sunday night, after one of the wettest years on record pushed down total attendance numbers by more than 80,000 compared to last year.
Despite all the rain, the 10-day event still managed to crack the one-million mark, with total attendance of 1,088,039.
"Our Stampede spirit is alive and doing very well in Calgary," CEO Warren Connell said at a closing news conference on Sunday.
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Connell says Mother Nature was somewhat co-operative, with the rain falling after the rodeo but before the chuckwagon races on many days.
"But it certainly was a difficult year for the weather," he said.
Steve Sourtzis, who owns and operates a homemade burger stand on the grounds, says the rainy days ate into his bottom line.
"This event actually [accounts for] a third of my business, and basically because we work three-and-a-half months a year doing this type of work, it takes a big chunk from us," he said.
Connell said 18 per cent of the people who went through the gates this year were first time guests, up from 16 per cent last year.
But on the second Friday, one of the rainiest days, attendance was down by almost 40 per cent.
The Stampede's decision to offer free admission on the final Sunday drew 151,695 visitors, 42 per cent more than the final day of last year's event.
But the totals on the final Friday and Saturday were down 39 per cent and 27 per cent respectively over last year.
This year's final tally was 6.9 per cent lower than 2015.
The Stampede drew record-breaking crowds for its 100th anniversary in 2014, with more than 1.4 million guests passing through the gates.
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