OGDEN — The Ogden Pioneer Days committee has announced an increase in the number of reserved seats for the rodeo.
Reserved seating for the entire northern grandstands at Ogden Stadium, 668 17th St., now is available online through SmithsTix by visiting smithstix.com/events and typing Pioneer Days in the search bar.
For those who wish to purchase tickets in person, the northern grandstand reserved seats will be available for purchase starting June 16 at Ogden Pioneer Days headquarters, 1810 Washington Blvd.
The rodeo’s traditional reserved seating, on the west end of the arena above the chutes and in box seats on the ground next to the arena, also goes on sale June 16 at the rodeo headquarters, officials said.
The new northern grandstands reserved seating will be available at the Pioneer Days office and at SmithsTix. General admission tickets are also available at Smith and Edwards and Reams.
“The reserved seats, which will give guests peace of mind knowing they will have prime seats when they arrive at the rodeo, is a new feature of this year’s rodeo, which will run July 19-24,” according to a news release from the rodeo committee. “The reserved seating also ensures that families and friends can sit together without having to arrive hours early to save seats. Reserved-seating guests also can leave their seats for concessions without worry that the spots will be taken before they return.”
Craig Bielik, a spokesman for Ogden Pioneer Days, said there may be some disappointed rodeo fans who won’t have heard about the way the tickets are being sold this year. They may arrive at the rodeo thinking they will be able to sit in the northern grandstands, he said.
He said he believes these fans will learn and adapt in years to come. Rodeo officials also are considering adding more reserved seating in the future, he said.
“We think that reserved seating offers a whole variety of benefits, and we are always trying to improve,” Bielik said. “This is a really good thing for us. I can see a number of advantages.”
“People are showing up sometimes at 4:30 in the afternoon,” said Dave Halverson, vice chairman of the rodeo committee. “We’ve had several comments and requests. They say, ‘How do we avoid standing in the sun for three hours?’ ”
Halverson said the simplest way to solve that problem was to follow what other events similar to Ogden Pioneer Days have done.
“It’s simply for convenience,” he said.
Each seat is measured out at a little more than 21 inches wide, Halverson said.
“We’re going with a little bit wider seat than the industry standard,” he said. “It will be summertime, and people will want a little bit wider seat.”
Ticket costs for the rodeo, which annually draws more than 30,000 people, vary from $8 to $30. This year, the reserved seating on the northern grandstand will be the same cost as rodeo general admission. General admission seating will remain available on the southern grandstands.
Ogden Pioneer Days has been nominated five times for the “Best Rodeo in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.” This means Pioneer Days is one of the 20 best out of more than 700 rodeos in the country.
Each year at the final performance, July 24, the rodeo features fireworks and the coronation of Miss Rodeo Utah.
Pre-rodeo entertainment will include live music, mutton bustin’, steer riding, mini-bull riding and sky diving.