Paid attendance for the Xtreme Bulls and four days of Stampede Rodeo last week was 17,246 – probably a record.

Including contestant relatives, sponsors and others who did not enter through the turnstyles, the total was likely 20,000 inside Stampede Park for the 100th anniversary celebration June 30-July 4, more than enough to make the building appear full.

“I’m thinking it is,” Stampede Board of Directors co-president Mike Darby said of the likelihood of an attendance mark set for the commemorative rodeo.

However, he said, the board does not have official year-by-year statistics from the past to compare with this year’s turnout.

“We don’t really know,” Darby said. His comment about the size of this year’s crowds, he said, was “judging from what I saw in the stands.”

The largest single-day official paid attendance was 4,352 on July 4, but Darby said he is sure “there was over 5,000 people.”

Each day there were more people in Stampede Park than the specific daily count, Darby said, thus averaging about 4,000 people per day.

The focus was always on making this rodeo stand out.

“It was a great Stampede,” Darby said.

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