National Western Center

The National Western Stock Show has a rich history in Denver, CO dating back to the first Stock Show in 1906. The show started as a livestock show in the historic “yards” and now has evolved into a 16 day event featuring rodeos, horse shows, Colorado’s largest Western trade show, and the most prominent livestock show in the country.

National Western leadership is currently working with a multitude of partners including the City and County of Denver, Colorado State University, the Museum of Nature and Science and History Colorado to explore a site plan that would reinvent the complex for the next 100 years.  To read more about what this means for Stock Show and to see progress and plans, visit

The Western Stock Show Association, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was formed in 1906 and promotes youth, adult and community development through livestock and equestrian education, innovation, entertainment and competition. WSSA provides college and graduate level scholarships in agriculture and veterinary medicine for practice in rural areas. The association produces the National Western Stock Show, one of Colorado’s preeminent tourist destinations, now held every January for 16 days. A nationally recognized western heritage and entertainment event, the stock show hosts one of the world’s richest regular season professional rodeos, one of the country’s largest horse shows and Colorado’s largest agricultural tradeshow, attracting close to 650,000 visitors each year.
In 2013 five partners banded together to rebuild the National Western’s aging facilities and reimagine the campus for the next 100 years. The primary funding partners for the NWC campus are Colorado State University (CSU), the Western Stock Show Association (WSSA), the City & County of Denver (CCD), Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) and History Colorado (HC).

The National Western Center (NWC) campus, to be built in phases over an estimated 10 years, will be an international center of excellence in agricultural innovation, education, research, technology and imagination as well as entertainment and competition, serving the needs and interests of farmers, ranchers, tourists, researchers, students and educators around the world.

NWC master-planning was completed in spring of 2015. In November 2015, Denver voters overwhelmingly authorized public funding for phases I and II of the proposed NWC, which supports over 80% of the site’s redevelopment.  When combined with $250 million in state funding for Colorado State University’s facilities on campus, the project budget totals over $1.1 billion.


CSU-Rams       2015_NWSS_NoDates             denver-logo_preview          denver-museum-of-nature-and-science        History-Colorado-logo-1024x237

WSSA Education Consulting Position RFP FINAL 8-8-16[2]The campus facilities will be built and/or renovated over multiple phases to accommodate the continued operation of the annual NWSS event. Phases I and II, which are currently funded, are in the early stages of development, and include:

  •  Planning for new infrastructure and public plazas connecting campus to surrounding communities
  •  Riverfront activation
  •  New stockyards and events pavilion
  •  New livestock and equestrian centers
  •  CSU Equine sports medicine facility
  •  CSU Water Resources Center
  •  Land Acquisition
  •  Rail Consolidation
  •  Site Prep- Selective Demolition/Structure Demolition
  •  Remediation of Structures and Soils
  •  Site entitlements

Futures phases will include:

  •  New Arena
  •  New Expo Hall
  •  Restored 1909 Stadium Arena
  •  CSU Center
  •  Restored Armour Administration Building




Upon complete buildout, NWC campus seeks to expand upon National Western Stock Show’s 110-year history, to become a global center dedicated to solving some of the world’s most intractable problems – such as how to feed the world’s projected 9 billion people by 2050, while continuing the longstanding traditions of celebrating the spirit of the American West through the annual National Western Stock Show & Rodeo. Envisioned to become the “DAVOS or Silicon Valley of Agriculture,” the NWC campus will support global-level programming, experiential education, research and regional development goals, bringing together peoplefrom all over the world to pursue our common interests that include, but are not limited to:

  •  Translational veterinary medical science
  •  Modern food system research and management
  •  Modern food system security and safety
  •  Agricultural research and development
  •  Business incubation
  •  Experiments in urban agriculture
  •  Bridging urban and rural interests about agricultural
  •  Western art and history
  •  Water systems management and research
  •  Natural sciences and resource management
  •  Global-level conferences and cross cultural integration and activation
  •  Expert-led agricultural education
  •  Historic stock show event
  •  New equestrian and livestock events
  •  Expanded trade show events

Contact Us

  • 303-296-NWSS (6977)
  • 303-292-1708

National Western Complex
4655 Humboldt St.
Denver, CO 80216