MESQUITE, Texas (AP) - A few steps into the air-conditioned Mesquite Rodeo is all it takes to feel the relief.
Cool air. Cheap prices.
And the stars of the show sitting nearby, ready with a smile and a pen so they can autograph programs.
The Associated Press reports some sponsors have pulled out and a handful of rodeos nationwide have closed this summer.
But attendance is up about 12 percent for each of the two major circuits, the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and Professional
Bull Riders (PBR).
PRCA commissioner Karl Stressman says rodeos historically have been up when the economy is down.
He thinks a lot of vacationers are staying closer to home this year.
The lure begins with affordable tickets, around $10 at many rodeos, even those with concerts as the nightcap.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)