On September 26 and 27, come get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the Calgary Stampede’s most unique areas. The Stampede tour was among Doors Open YYC’s most popular last year, and we are thrilled to be participating once again. This year, check out the Young Canadians’ costumes, enjoy the view from the Eye in the Sky, get an up-close look at the chutes, and new this year, tour the Infield suites.

Photo Credit: Shaun Robinson / Calgary Stampede

Guided tours run every 20 minutes and last between 45 and 60 minutes. During the tour, you will visit:

1. “100 Years of Champions”
This is the tour start-point, located right outside the main doors of the Grandstand Building. For those of us suffering from Stampede withdrawal symptoms, the Downtown Attractions committee will be serving up free pancake breakfasts (until 1pm). While you’re eating, take a look at Stampede Park’s most recent public art installation, called “100 Years of Champions.” This Centennial project remembers all of the cowboy and cowgirl rodeo and chuckwagon champions since Tom Three Persons rode Cyclone to victory during the very first Stampede of 1912.

Stampede Park art: "100 Years of Champions," to honour the champions of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and chuckwagon races.
Stampede Park art: “100 Years of Champions,” to honour the champions of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and chuckwagon races.

2. The Infield and Infield Suites
In the first Stampede of 1912, there was no enclosed infield or chutes. Cowboys and cowgirls had to get on their bucking horses in the middle of the field, creating many difficult and awkward moments; the horses had the entire range of the track, and many raced far out of view of the Grandstand audience. Since then, the Stampede learned its lesson and now has an infield and chutes that promote animal safety, rider safety and give the audience amazing views and experiences. Come and get a look at how the chutes operate and hear stories from Rodeo committee volunteers. Nestled in the Infield Grandstand are the Infield Suites, built in 1997, these suites have a premium vantage point and have been graced by many celebrities such as Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Vince Vaughn and many more.

CS.000.35.19 - Miss Lucille Mulhall, 1912

3. The Eye-in-the-Sky
Come and see the best view in the house in the “eye-in-the-sky,” the Grandstand broadcast booth. It’s from here that Calgary icons Joe Carbury and now Les McIntyre call the chuckwagon races, and that judges evaluate the rodeo competitors. Volunteers from the Chuckwagon committee will tell you all of the juicy stories about watching cowboys and cowgirls from this unique view point.

Photo Credit: Chris Bolin

4. Under the Stage
If you’ve ever been to the TransAlta Grandstand Show, you’ve seen The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede spring up from a place where, just minutes before, chuckwagons were racing across the dirt. On the tour you will go underneath the stage and see the inner workings of the iconic Grandstand Show. Visit dressing rooms, see how the stage moves and get a feel for what it’s like to go onstage in front of a sold-out crowd.

The 2015 TransAlta Grandstand Show - Classic Canadian
The 2015 TransAlta Grandstand Show – Classic Canadian

Know before you go:

  • Tours run between 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Please wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • The tour includes stairs and uneven surfaces.
  • Remember to check the weather and dress appropriately.
  • Tours every twenty minutes, with the last tour starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Guests attending Doors Open YYC on Stampede Park can take advantage of complementary parking! The first 100 guests to register on Eventbrite will get FREE parking! This is first come, first served so be sure to RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/doors-open-yyc-calgary-stampede-tickets-18728841469
  • Please note: you do NOT need to RSVP to attend the tour. All walk-ins are welcome to come for FREE pancakes until noon, tour some of the Calgary Stampede’s most iconic buildings and take a ride on our beautiful trolleys!

Doors Open YYC runs at the Stampede on Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, September 27 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.