DENVER - When the 108th National Western Stock Show opened its door Saturday morning, Sam Abweh said he was greeted with a steady flow of customers at his booth location. He believes the difference is not the kickoff Saturday, but the kickoff on Sunday.
"Probably because the game is tomorrow. More people are coming here for the first day to experience the stock show," Sam Abweh, owner of Samsville Gallery, said.
Abweh is based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. But, he has been part of the National Western Stock Show for 19 years. He says Sunday's game between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers may have prompted more people to come to the Stock Show on Saturday.
"Everybody loves the Broncos for sure and the Stock Show is another big thing for Denver, for Colorado. And when they cross each other, sometimes people have to make a choice," Abweh said. "The game or the stock show? Always the game wins."
That's exactly the reason Michael Hart is attending the Stock Show's opening day with his 3-year-old daughter Aliviya.
"[I] just came to check it out [and] see what was going on," Hart said. "The Broncos aren't playing so I'm going to come here and check this out today."
Abweh says it does have an impact on business, but he does not mind.
"When the Broncos keep going [through the playoffs] the percentage of the sales will be a little bit less, especially on the Sundays," Abweh said. "But, they always make it up for us on a Saturday."
Paul Andrews is the President and CEO of the National Western Stock Show. Andrews says the numbers even out over time - and that's a good thing.
"It is important also that we keep consistency. We have so many great shows left here," Andrews said.
Andrews says the Broncos game is a celebration at the Stock Show and people should come to take advantage of the $2 discount off grounds admission for wearing Broncos clothing.
"We've got lots of TVs here so the Broncos will be on every one of them," Andrews said. "Remember the game time is usually in the mid-afternoon, so it gives people a lot of the time in the morning to come."
Abweh says his businesses may be a little slower Sunday afternoon, but that's OK. It means he won't be so distracted.
"We'll be watching the game, too," Abweh said.
Late Saturday night we learned that it was the second-biggest opening day, with more than 44,000 people.
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