Arizona National Livestock Show Canceled

by in Blog
We bring to you this morning an important announcement from Tyler Grandil, Executive Director of the Arizona National Livestock Show. "Today, I have the unfortunate responsibility to inform you, that we [Arizona National Livestock Show] did not receive approval to host this year's [2020] show," Grandil says. "We are faced with the unfortunate reality as many other livestock shows have, that we are 100% NOT in control of whether or not the show happens."The Arizona National Livestock Show is planning to proceed with hosting a show for the 2021 year. For immediate questions, please refer to:

Updated as of 11/19/2020 

FAQ regarding the 2020 Arizona National Livestock Show Cancellation

Q: Why can’t you move to another state where livestock shows are allowed?

A: A significant portion of the funding the Arizona National Livestock Show receives annually is given on the condition that the show is hosted in Arizona.

Q: How can kids be back in school in Arizona (and all across the country) but not in the show ring?

A: Whether or not students can attend school in-person is a local level decision in Arizona. The Arizona National Livestock Show is hosted on and by the Arizona State Fair.  As a state-owned facility, the decision to allow activities on this property is the purview of the Governor’s office.

Q: Why didn’t you cancel earlier? 

A: Timing for making the official request to the Governor’s office for approval for us to conduct the Arizona National Livestock Show was carefully considered.  Requesting permission too early, could have meant an immediate no.

Q: Will we get entries fees back? 

A: Yes, we will be refunding the following fees (less the 4% processing fee that the credit card company originally charged):

  • Entry fees
  • Early Bird Registration
  • Blocking Chute fees
  • Lamb/Goat Tack space fee
  • Livestock Trailer Parking
  • RV Parking
  • Additional Parking Passes
  • Late Entry Fees

We will not be issuing refunds for DNA kits, Premium Books, Expedited mailing fees or Youth Membership purchased.

Q: Why are we letting politics dictate our shows? 

A: The decision to cancel has nothing to do with politics.  Like most livestock shows and fairs, we’re not 100% in control of whether or not the show happens.  We are required to work through the approval process like any other entity that wants to hold a public event.

Q: Did the idea of no spectators or audience ever get discussed?

A: Yes.  Bleachers and fixed seating were removed from our plan that was submitted to the Governor.  Exhibitors would have been limited to 2 persons at the show ring while they showed.  All local marketing efforts (encouraging “gate” or spectator attendance) were cancelled.

Q: What ideas were put on the table to keep the secure approval? 

A: A 31-page document was prepared and submitted to the Governor’s office to address the guidelines outlined by the CDC.  The most significant adjustments to the footprint and formatting of the show included:

·Daily health checks for all exhibitors

·Monitoring maximum occupancy in buildings

·12’ aisles (resulting in the reduction of 1/3 of the pens)

·Stalling out of trailers (to reduce exhibitors in the building)

·Mandatory face masks

·Elimination of fixed seating in the buildings

·Elimination of 12 events resulting in a 50% reduction in projected attendance

·Schedule changes

·Social Distancing protocols

Additionally, other Arizona venues were investigated and contacted.  Venues large enough to hold the entire event were booked with other events or not yet open to hosting events.  Finally, the thought of splitting the show into multiple sites/venues was considered.  Moving the show and/or splitting the show were cost-prohibitive and would lead to a substandard experience for our exhibitors.

Q: Were limits on number of people involved in the show discussed? 

A: Yes.  Once the maximum number of pens was determined (by the increase of aisle space and other social distancing measures), we were able to estimate the total number of animals and people that could be allowed in buildings.  The initial plan to the Governor included reducing all breeding and market animals down to 2/exhibitor.  Additional reductions could have been made as outlined in previous communication to exhibitors, if needed.

Q: How can you throw away all of the revenue/experience/memories of so many exhibitors? 

A: The decision to cancel was a very difficult one to make and not done lightly.  We are very proud of our exhibitor-centric culture at the show and worked diligently to explore every possible avenue to host a show in 2020.  Unfortunately, it became clear to us that the decision was ultimately not in our hands and the 2020 Arizona National Livestock Show has been added to list of other disappointments we’ve all faced in our personal lives this year.

Q: How can other events take place in your state but not Arizona National? 

A: While we watched major shows in other states closely, probably the most relevant information for our Governor was the activity of other events in Arizona.  There are a variety of reasons that the other events were allowed to happen in Arizona.  Most of them were/are held on city or county property (not state property) and the decision to allow them to take place is given at that level.  The other main consideration is where the participants reside.  In almost every instance, events that have been allowed to take place in Arizona consist of mostly Arizona (and many time city/county) residents.  80% of Arizona National exhibitors come from outside of Arizona.

Q: Why are other shows across the country able to operate their show(s) and many times virtually unchanged?

A: While we’re all experiencing the COVD-19 challenges, each state (and sometimes city and/or county) approaches its response differently.  While we referenced other shows in our request for approval to conduct our show, ultimately, our state leaders place greater emphasis on local metrics in their decision.

Q: Was doing a virtual considered?

A: Yes.  While it has been done in many shows across the country, there are several disadvantages that exist when doing a virtual show.  After carefully reviewing the pros and cons of a virtual show option, the show’s Executive Committee decided that the best interest of the Arizona National Livestock Show, its exhibitors and sponsors are served with not hosting one.

Q: Will scholarships be given out this year?

A: Yes.  We are fortunate to have some funding for our scholarship program which is not generated by the show.  Additionally, because of the value we place on the scholarship program, we have been able to rearrange our budget and secure additional funding.  We are not able to predict exactly how many scholarship dollars will be available but we will definitely be awarding scholarships for the 2020-21 school year.