FORT WORTH, Texas — Updated at 9:50 a.m. with reaction from Mayor Betsy Price.
The executive committee of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo voted unanimously Thursday to cancel next year's show scheduled for Jan. 15 through Feb. 6 due to COVID-19 concerns.
The only other time a Stock Show was canceled was 1943 near the height of World War II.
"The uncertainty of the virus potential spread across Texas and the nation during the upcoming flu season was another major factor weighing on our decision," President and General Manager Brad Barnes said in a written statement.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said she was joining fans in their disappointment about the cancellation, but added that she supported the decision.
"However, I am confident that the Board of Directors' decision to cancel this year's event was made in the best interest of all fans and participants," Price said in a statement.
Daily stock show attendance often exceeds 140,000 people, officials said in a news release.
Barnes said there is normally a total of 1.2 million guests, exhibitors, and competitors who attend. He said organizers could not find a safe and practical way to host the show while following CDC guidelines.
The board said they spoke to infectious disease and public health professionals before making their decision. The health experts said the Stock Show would pose a "very high risk" for the spread of COVID-19, potentially impacting populations and healthcare systems.
The executive committee decided to cancel all FWSSR events and features, rather than allowing certain events to be held.