RodeoHouston promises to refund exhibitors entry fees after sudden closure

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As vendors and exhibitors were forced to quickly remove their property from NRG Park, RodeoHouston promised it would refund their entry fee after a sudden cancellation due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Houston-area.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's closure came 11 days earlier than its anticipated end.

"We are deeply saddened by the closing of the 2020 Rodeo & the impact it has had on our livestock & horse show exhibitors," according to a statement from rodeo officials. "The Rodeo will refund all entry fees for exhibitors who were unable to compete & we will soon announce additional plans to support our junior exhibitors."

The rodeo is known to draw millions of people from around the world and distributes millions to students in scholarships every year. Although the rodeo has come to an end, officials promised that this year's scholarships will be fulfilled.

"We are in a position to fulfill our annual contribution to youth and education," Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo president and CEO Joel Cowley said.

Cowley revealed officials didn't really know about the city's decision until the "wee hours" of the morning.

WATCH: RodeoHouston president/CEO explains how it came to decision to close for 2020
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In the wake of the abrupt end of the 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the event's president, Joel Cowley, explains how he and other leaders came to the decision.

The rodeo is among the growing number of large events across the United States that have been cancelled or postponed.

WATCH: Rodeo attendee's emotional reaction to the cancellation
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What's next for contestants and scholarship nominees in the midst of the rodeo cancellation?

READ MORE: South by Southwest canceled amidst coronavirus outbreak

SEE ALSO: How to get a refund on your Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo tickets

The event was established as the Houston Fat Stock Show in 1931, before a name change 30 years later to the current Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

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