DENVER (KDVR) — It’s playoff season for the NFL as teams battle it out for who gets to go to the big game. But if your sport is showing cattle and your field is the stockyard, then these 16 days are your championship.  

The National Western Stock Show is happening now until Jan. 23.

“It’s so much easier to put on the National Western Stock Show than to not put it on. It really is something that is cherished by the staff and I. So, the 2021 show that we were not able to do during the pandemic broke our hearts, but we’re back in full force here,” said Paul Andrews, stock show president. 

Not only did the ranchers and farmers miss out on the large audience to sell their livestock when last year’s show was canceled, but the city’s economy also took a hit. 

“We’ve grown to 700,000 attendees, typically in a normal year, over the course of 16 days and generate more than $120 million of economic impact for the City and County of Denver and the metro area. So very excited again [that] all these people come in here staying in our hotels. [It’s] great for the city, great for taxes,” said Andrews.

This year, farmers and ranchers from 43 states and 30 countries get to see what sets Denver apart after a significant investment from the city for a 250-acre National Western Center.    

We are now known as the Taj Mahal of livestock exhibitions by building the new yards and the stockyards event center. 

“I’ve had no complaints about the hospitality. Everything’s been great. So a lot of shows, we’ve had good crowds. So it’s a lot. There’s a lot to build on right now,” said Bob Tiedeman, Baldridge-Tiedeman Angus.  

Since 1906,  education is still the main mission of the show, teaching younger generations that their food doesn’t just show up in a restaurant; It actually comes from a ranch.  

“The National Western Stock Show prides itself on being the place where urban and rural America come together to learn from each other. So the food chain starts right here,” Andrews said. “We love being in the center of Denver because there’s so many inner-city kids that will never learn that unless they come out here.”