If you are a fan of South Dakota's number one sport, Rodeo you might have your favorite place you like to watch. In South Dakota, we are fortunate enough to have many arenas and facilities to choose from. From the smaller rodeos like Irene and Scotland to some of the bigger ones we'll talk about here.

I sat down with Travis Bechen of Rapid City recently. Travis has a reputation of having been a pretty darn good bareback bronc rider, and agreed to give me his top five rodeo facilitates.  We took into consideration atmosphere and crowds too. Bechen said, it's funny how some of the best rodeo crowds are actually east of the Missouri River. Why? He thought, because West River, Rodeo is just a part of rural life. Riding, Roping ect.

All of the rodeo towns and facilities taken into consideration are from The Badlands Circuit. Rodeo is broken down into 12 circuits. The Badlands Circuit is North Dakota and South Dakota plus towns within 100 miles of the two states.

Here's a top 5 Midwest Rodeo Break Down. Travis Bechen lives in Rapid City and works with Midco Sports Network supplying color commentary during local rodeos. 

JD Collins/KIKN via Sprint Sioux Falls
JD Collins/KIKN via Sprint Sioux Falls


  • 1

    Crystal Springs Rodeo

    Clear Lake, South Dakota

    The rodeo grounds at Clear Lake are built into 100 plus acres with the rodeo arena featured down in a natural bowl. People come to camp, come to party and have a good time. It's not just about the rodeo, it's people coming together for a great time and celebrating the great sport of Rodeo.

  • 2

    Corn Palace Stampede-Mitchell, South Dakota

    Mitchell really packs it in, it was my home town. Every night there's a great crowd which makes it fun for the cowboys. It makes it so much more fun when there's a great atmostphere with people getting into it and whoopin and hollaring, that's what we really love. Mitchell is great for that.

  • 3

    Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo

    This is one of Bechan's favorites because it's now his hometown. It happens during the cold winter months. People are kind of pent up with cabin fever so it's always a great atmosphere of people coming together to have a good time and get a little rodeo in.

  • 4

    Rodeo Roundup-Belle Fourche, South Dakota

    Again, this is a rodeo that happens over the July 4th weekend. He said it's a fairly good high dollar rodeo, one you can make a lot of money at that many athletes like. According to Bell Fourche.com 

    The Black Hills Roundup Rodeo which surrounds the July 4th holiday in Belle Fourche is one of America's oldest rodeo's. First held in 1918, this event becomes a magnet, pulling in former residents, students and members of local families from all over the nation.

  • 5

    Rodeo Days-Mandan, North Dakota

    Mandan, North Dakota has a July 4th Rodeo. It's a circuit rodeo that many South Dakota rodeo athletes attend. The festivities surrounding the July 4th Holiday only add to the excitement of the rodeo.

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