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Thus endeth this year’s Rodeo

Surely not a surprise.

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Wednesday the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will close due to concerns about coronavirus after a Montgomery County man with no recent travel history tested positive for COVID-19.

The case is the first example of community spread in the Houston region and was directly responsible for the decision to cancel the Rodeo, Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at a news conference early Wednesday afternoon. Officials also announced that the man likely attended a barbecue cookoff for the Rodeo late last month, though it was unclear if he had symptoms at the time.

Turner said he will sign an emergency health declaration Wednesday that will remain in place for seven days, at which point City Council will decide whether to extend it. Under the declaration, all events produced or permitted by the city will be canceled through the end of March, Turner said. That includes Sunday’s Tour de Houston fundraising bike ride, which officials will attempt to reschedule, according to the mayor.

Rodeo officials said they were “deeply saddened” but agreed with the city’s move to cancel the livestock show and rodeo.

“As hard as this is to do, it is the right thing to do,” said Joel Crowley, president and chief executive of the Rodeo.

It’s a tough choice to have to make, and there’s a real cost to doing it.

The Houston rodeo generated $227 million in total economic impact last year, directly supporting nearly 3,700 jobs in 2019, according to a study by Economic Analytics Consulting commissioned by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last year. The study measured new spending in the Houston region generated by outside visitors and spending by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Inc.


The cancellation of CERAWeek, which was expected to bring 5,500 attendees from some 80 countries downtown, cost businesses an estimated $7 million in lost hotel, dining, rental and other direct spending, according to Holly Clapham, chief marketing officer for Houston First Corp., the city’s convention arm.

The rodeo’s cancellation is expected to be more costly for the local economy. It’s known as as the world’s largest entertainment livestock exhibition, and it’s one of Houston’s largest tourist events of the year, lasting for nearly the entire month of March and requiring the efforts of tens of thousands of volunteers.

Last year, the event attracted 273,000 out of town attendees during that time.

Economic projections like this, especially when sourced to the event in question, are unreliable. I don’t think anyone would doubt that the city, and especially the people who work at these events, will suffer for not having them. Still, this was the right thing to do, and will be less costly by any measure than continuing on with business as usual. Let us hope that the need for such drastic action will be short term and not longer. The city of Houston’s press release, which declared a public health emergency along with Harris County, is here. Texas Monthly and the Trib have more.

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  1. robert says:

    The comments on Social Media are mind blowing, not even a Pandemic is bringing the country together…very divided. I think it’s the mixed/delayed message from our “leader”…..

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    This was a horrible decision, a follow the crowd, “Everybody panic!” move. We know enough to understand that this is just another strain of flu…..if you aren’t immune compromised or elderly and sick, even if you get it, oh, noes, you got a flu. You spend a few days in bed feeling like crap, then get back in the swing of things.

    The rodeo should NOT have been canceled, and it was even dumber to cancel SXSW. The twenty and thirty somethings that attend SXSW aren’t dying from the Wu flu….it’s 80 year olds with health problems that die from it. What should have happened is, elderly, and those who are in close contact with the elderly, should have made the decision to not go, and for everyone else, rodeo time, y’all. For everyone else, wash your hands more frequently, and just live your life.

    I suspect the death percentages are greatly exagerated everywhere, because they only take into account people tested with this particular strain of flu. How many more got it and had mild or regular flu symtoms, spent a couple days camped out on the couch with a bottle of Nyquil, and are over it? All those folks don’t get counted, so the ‘death toll percentage’ looks worse than it actually is.

    The panic is worse than the actual problem.

  3. Robbie Westmoreland says:

    It had to be cancelled to keep morons like Bill from turning us into Italy. Good decision.

  4. Jules says:

    Flatten the curve

  5. Ross says:

    Bill, Corona is not the flu. It’s a completely different virus family, and this is a new virus that no one has immunity to. That means that the potential for widespread infection is higher. If too many people get sick at the same time, medical facilities will be overwhelmed. Limiting the rate of spread with social isolation will help prevent that.

  6. Bill Daniels says:

    Here’s a whole group of women who got the Wu flu. Looks like they were sick a little longer than I intimated, but…..none of them went to the hospital. They got a bad flu, they got over it.

    Ross, I do agree that we could have a problem if too many workers get sick all at the same time, so taking some reasonable precautions isn’t a bad idea. We’re just going to disagree on what reasonable precautions mean. Washing hands and face frequently? Yes.

    Cancelling the rodeo? Too extreme.

    I’ll also point out that when this thing was just coming to light, and Trump instituted the travel ban on China, the left just went on and on about how racist and over reactionary Trump was. But now Turner decides to cancel the rodeo, and everyone seems just fine with that. If we’re following protocol, then why not accuse Turner of racism, closing the majority white rodeo?

  7. C.L. says:

    Oh Bill….

  8. Jules says:

    Shut up Bill

  9. Flypusher says:

    Bill you are spreading dangerous misinformation. Take your lips off Trump’s ass and look at what is happening in Italy. They are actually resorting to the sorts of death panels the GOP bitched about. If we want to avoid that, we need to act NOW. Dr Anthony Fauci, who has 50+ years experience with epidemiology, says we have a big problem. HE is the one we should listen too, not that willfully ignorant fool Trump. Your sort of denial and lying is going to make this worse. STOP IT.

  10. Brad says:

    Comrade Bill Daniels,

    I am still impressed with your English writing. Where did you study English abroad before returning to Russia for your government career?

    I am surprised you didn’t make any references to crazy people saying DDT and Thalidomide was dangerous when in in fact it is perfectly safe.

  11. Bill Daniels says:


    Banning DDT has killed millions of Asians and African people, so congratulations, I guess. Next to abortion, what better way to kill off non whites than banning a pesticide with great efficacy?

    Do you ever get tired of being wrong and getting owned? I mean, maybe you’re into humiliation, but hey, no one is kink shaming here.

  12. Flypusher says:

    Bullshit Bill. DDT is not banned in places where malaria is endemic, but there are restrictions as to how one can apply it.

    As for this fiction that restricting DDT doomed millions, I have 2 words: pesticide resistance. It didn’t take long for resistant mosquitoes to appear after DDT use began. Now to compound that trouble, here’s 3 more words: off target effects. It turns out that DDT is also quite effective at killing fish, which are major predators of mosquito larvae. Their populations don’t rebound as quickly as mosquito populations do. This is another dangerous lie you spread. You can get away with lying about politics for a long time, but lying about science will blow up in your face.

  13. Bill Daniels says:


    Just for you, I posted a leftist site to confirm my assertions. Did you miss the link? I agree that pesticide resistance is a real thing, but you are misinforming people by leading them to think that happens in a matter of months or a year or two. It takes a lot longer than that, and you also have to weigh a cost-benefit analysis. Remember the commercials featuring those poor African kids with flies all over them, dying of malaria, complete with “In the Arms of an Angel” playing in the background? I’m betting those kids would rather have had their villages sprayed with DDT than to die the horrible way they did. And people like YOU didn’t give them that choice. You took that choice away from them, and here we are…..millions dead that maybe didn’t have to die.

  14. Jules says:

    Shut the fuck up Bill

  15. Flypusher says:

    I don’t give a damn whether the source is left or right, There is no more risk to these healthy young men than any other flu they may contract, because science is neither left nor right. Failure to think long term (DDT killing mosquito predators too) makes the problem worse in the end. You end up with a population of resistant mosquitoes with decimated natural controls on them. More people ultimately die. Plus there is the matter of restricted use of DDT being allowed if malaria gets bad. Stop trying to deceive people on this and the Coronavirus issue. It is absolutely shameful and dangerous. All in the service of an unfit selfish fool who’d gladly stab you in the back in a fit of pique.

  16. Flypusher says:

    Got that garbled with another post- the beginning ought to read “I don’t give a damn whether the source is left or right, because science is neither left nor right.”

    But I’ll also add that you are truly devoid of any decency Bill, regardless of whether you’re a paid troll or a real Trumpalo.

  17. brad says:


    Make sure that you post a photo of yourself at the next Trump rally so I can see you and all the “don’t believe the hoaxers” folks that will be taken out shortly by Darwin.

  18. Bill Daniels says:


    Remember the swine flu that hit the US a decade ago? The one that afflicted 60 MILLION Americans?

    No? Why not? Why was there not mass panic and economy destroying shit like cancelling the rodeo going on then? Where was the mass hysteria? Was it because we had Obama as president, maybe?

    I’m not saying Wu flu isn’t a concern, of course it is, but you aren’t promulgating a reasonable response, you’re hyping fear porn, and YOU should be ashamed. Decency? Maybe find some for yourself before you point out the mote in my eye.

    And you brought up Italy as an example of what can go wrong. I agree. Maybe you missed the fact that Italy, Florence in particular, encouraged their citizens to go out and hug random Chinese people, to show how not racist they were. LOL! So woke….worked out great!

    You think, hey, we in Houston would never be that stupid, yet I recall seeing city and county leaders lamenting the lack of business in Chinatown and imploring people to go to Chinatown and spend money.

  19. Flypusher says:

    Was Obama denying that the swine flu existed and claiming that it was a GOP hoax? Did he eliminate the epidemic response portion of the CDC? Let’s also factor in that Swine flu was not a novel disease back then. There are no vaccines or direct treatments for Corona virus yet.
    That matters. That increases the difficulty of treating it and containing it.

    Why are so many things being shut down? Because the Trump Administration dropped the ball on testing. Look at South Korea- they ramped up their testing, and they got their outbreak under control. They test about as many people each day as the US has tested in total. We knew this was coming, at least since the end of Dec. That time was squandered. If we had ramped up the testing when we should have, we might not have had to shut so many things down, because we could have tracked down more people carrying it in time. Major blown opportunity.

    Of course you had to go racist, didn’t you? Italy isn’t in trouble from hugging Chinese people. Also there are so far no reported cases in Houston’s Chinatown.

    Given that Dr. Fauci is warning that what’s happening in Italy could happen here next if we don’t take preventive measures, I guess he’s a fear porn junkie too. Should he be ashamed? You should, but to be a Trump apologist is to break one’s moral compass.

  20. Manny says:

    Best comment I have heard this month;

    “Bill you are spreading dangerous misinformation. Take your lips off Trump’s ass and look at what is happening in Italy.”

    Source Fly Pusher

    Unfortunately Bill’s lip are still brown and stuck to Trump’s ass.

  21. Bill Kelly says:

    I’m just checking back here to see how folks who disagreed with the decision feel about the two confirmed cases that attended.

  22. Bill Daniels says:

    @ Bill,

    I still fervently disagree. They didn’t shut down the rodeo for polio, for WWII, for SARS, for MRSA, for ebola, for Zika, for the swine flu, etc., and somehow, some way, Houston survived.

    History will look negatively at the people who cancelled the rodeo, sporting events, etc. This is a dark chapter in our history not because of Wu flu, but because of the irrational response. I’m surprised we aren’t burning witches right now.

  23. Bill Kelly says:

    Right, so all of the professional and collegiate sports, a stock market crash, and international closer of multiple countries and you “fervently disagree.”

    What would have to be cancelled for you to not do so?

    And do you accept the market, the athletic world, and basically the global all fervently disagree with you?

  24. Jules says:

    The CDC recommends “all in-person events involving 50 people or more be called off for the next eight weeks.” But Bill D fervently disagrees the rodeo not be shut down.

  25. Ross says:

    Bill, those diseases were very different. Polio tended to peak in teh Summer and Autumn, SARS didn’t make it to the US at anywhere near the rate of Coronavirus, MRSA is not transmitted through the air, and is harder to contract, ebola was controlled before coming to the US, and zika is transmitted by insects, so isolation doesn’t help. Get your head on strainght, and quit thinking about how awful your own life is, and consider the rest of society. I know you Trump lovers like to think it’s all about you, personally, but it’s not.