Tickets, parking, food, oh my! How to rodeo on a budget

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HOUSTON – Between the tickets, parking and food, a trip to Rodeo Houston can get expensive.

But if you’re looking for the best ways to save, Channel 2 put the best person on the job to find you the deals. Consumer expert Amy Davis did some research to help you rodeo on a budget.

There is no wrong day to visit the rodeo, but to get the most savings, people will want to come on a Wednesday, Davis said. This year, the rodeo is calling them “Family Wednesdays.”

That means seniors over 60 and children 12 and under get through the entrance for free up until 7 p.m.

Then, once inside the junction, there are $2 carnival rides and $2 food items at every concession stand from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

There are three Wednesdays during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, so rodeogoers will want to plan out their trip with that in mind.

“The Wednesdays are the day to look at,” said Joel Cowley, with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. “In particular, the two non-spring break Wednesdays if parents can get some time off because the crowds won’t be as big as the Wednesday during spring break.”

People can also save on parking by leaving their car at a park-and-ride lot and taking the METRO light rail to NRG.

However, not any parking garage will do. Davis found the cheapest option in Houston.

It’s the parking garage at 2811 Travis St. It has a $5 flat rate on weekends and weekdays after 6 p.m. You have direct access to the METRO rail McGowen stop, and you can take that to NRG for $1.25 each way.

For a family of four, it could cost you $15, which is $5 to $10 cheaper than just parking at NRG and $9 cheaper than parking at an express park-and-ride location.

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The Woodlands Township has launched The Woodlands Express Rodeo Service for weekends in March and at a price of $13 roundtrip. Those interested in more fun at the rodeo and less stress getting in and out of the event are strongly encouraged to make reservations now, while seats are still available.

Service will be provided three weekends during the rodeo: March 2 and 3, March 9 and 10, and March 16 and 17. The Woodlands Express Rodeo Service buses will leave the Sterling Ridge Park and Ride location and take riders directly to NRG Stadium, with return trips leaving NRG Stadium from the METRO/Rodeo Express pickup location. Trips will run throughout the day and evening at scheduled intervals.

This is a special service, and therefore The Woodlands Express regular tickets are not valid. Round-trip reservations must be made, and the complete schedule can be viewed online, at

As far as shows go, while many of the headliners sold out the same day tickets went on sale, there are still tickets available for 12 concerts, including names like Camilla Cabello, Kings of Leon and Luke Bryan. 

“We still have Luke Bryan tickets available,” Cowley said. “Those start at $20 and that’s really a value because $15 you gain access to the grounds for an adult. For only $5 more, you can gain access to all the great things that go on on the grounds and get admission to the stadium for a fantastic rodeo and star entertainer.”

Just a couple of weeks ago, Davis found tickets for a few rodeo concerts starting at just $8 on Groupon. There are tickets for a variety of concerts, including Prince Royce, Kacey Musgraves, Brooks and Dunn and even some resale Cardi B tickets starting at $137.

When you go to Rodeo Houston, you'll also want to dress the part, but you don't want to spend a fortune on an outfit you'll only wear once.

Davis spoke with a personal fashion stylist about how you can shop your own closet. Even if you don't consider yourself country,  you can probably pull together a rodeo outfit without buying anything new.

"Jeans, jeans, jeans," said Charlene Lawson of Style Chemistry Consulting. "They're a Western staple. Pull out your perfect pair of denim that are comfortable and make your booty look good. That's No. 1. No. 2 is a Western button-up shirt. It could be white, or denim. (You could even) try something like a denim jacket. Very Western, very chic, and most people have one in their closet." 

If you do need to add something to your jeans, you can find a ton of awesome authentic western wear at local resale shops.

A New U Resale on Spring Cypress in Tomball off FM 249 gets a lot of rodeo wear from Rodeo Houston Committee members. Owner Cheryl Copperwheat can also help you put your whole outfit together. 

Designer Diva Resale on Westheimer near the Beltway also carries high-end brands like Double D and Scully to less expensive brands. 

About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.