SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An event years in the making kicks off tonight at the PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.
The stage is set for the richest rodeo in South Dakota history, as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the $1.1-million CINCH Playoffs step into the PREMIER Center.
“You’re going to get see world champions, you’re going to get to see underdogs, you’re going to get to see the guy that’s trying to clinch another berth to the National Finals Rodeo, you’re going to get to see the wide range and variety of them all,” Production Manager Garrison Panzer said.
Garrison Panzer is the rodeo’s production manager. He makes sure everything runs smoothly and that the crowd is engaged.
“I want to make sure the fans feel like there’s never a lull, always feel like there’s the next thing coming their way, to be on the edge of their seat, so to speak, to give them the best show we possibly can,” Panzer said.
From announcers to entertainers to dirt installation, Panzer says they simply surround themselves with talent.
“We hire them because their job is to do what they do best,” Panzer said.
“They want the ground right, so that’s my job to make sure it gets there,” ‘The Dirt Guy’ Randy Spraggins said.
Randy Spraggins has worked the dirt at the biggest rodeos in the country. He says the surface here is a foot deep, requiring about 80 dump trucks worth of dirt.
“I added some materials to this, I added some sand into it to a certain percentage, and the tools that we work the ground with, trying to get it in the right area. You want a good, firm base, a workable top, where they can get a foot into it,” Spraggins said.
Spraggins specializes in indoor rodeos and understands the importance of his job.
“Whether it’s rough stock, barrel racing, or roping, footing is kind of key as to their performance levels,” Spraggins said.
And while the best in the business are in Sioux Falls, Panzer expects everyone to step up their game.
“Cowboys that have never competed on a stage like this, that have never competed for this much money, I think they’re going to rise to the occasion and say ‘this season ain’t over yet until I’ve got something to say about it,” Panzer said.
The opening round of the CINCH Playoffs starts tonight at 7:30 at the PREMIER Center. The event continues through Saturday, beginning at 7:30 nightly.