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$1 Million Challenge Grant for ASU Rodeo Team

June 05, 2023

Angelo State University has received an anonymous challenge grant of up to $1 million aimed specifically at funding renovations and updates to the ASU Rodeo Arena (formerly the Bly Arena) at the San Angelo Fairgrounds, which will be the official practice facility for the new ASU Rodeo Team.

The anonymous donor is challenging additional supporters to make donations toward the arena improvements, and has pledged a dollar-for-dollar match of all gifts up to $1 million.

Angelo State recently finalized an agreement with the City of San Angelo for a long-term lease of the arena and surrounding grounds. The arena includes an approximately 20,000-square-foot dirt floor, 80 stalls, eight holding pens, five bucking chutes, a concession stand and indoor restrooms. Significant renovations are needed to both the structure and surrounding grounds, including:

Dr. Don Topliff Dr. Don Topliff “Angelo State is well known for having outstanding athletics facilities,” said Dr. Don Topliff, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Thanks to the generosity of our anonymous donor and future supporters of the ASU Rodeo Arena renovation project, that reputation will soon extend to our rodeo arena. It will have a huge impact on helping us recruit top-notch student-athletes for the ASU Rodeo Team.”

In addition to being the ASU Rodeo Team’s practice facility, student-athletes on the team will board their horses at the arena, and it will also house practice livestock.

The anonymous challenge grant comes right on the heels of the May 25 introduction of Casey Sisk as the ASU Rodeo Team’s first head coach. He is already hard at work recruiting student-athletes for the team that will begin practicing in the ASU Rodeo Arena this fall.

Dr. Ben Lion Dr. Ben Lion “The generosity of our alumni and the San Angelo community allows our students to thrive and represent Angelo State,” said Dr. Ben Lion, vice president for student affairs. “I’m excited to see the growth of the ASU Rodeo Team and the success of our students who will graduate and use their degree to reinvest in future generations who equally love the sport.”

ASU will compete in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Southwest Region. Men will compete in saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping. Women will compete in barrel racing, breakaway roping, goat tying and team roping. The Southwest Region is currently made up of 17 rodeo teams at colleges and universities in Texas and New Mexico, including about 750 student competitors.