The AT&T Center Gets Down and Dirty

Things are getting dirty at the home of the Spurs, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Some 2100 tons of specially processed soil was brought in my a parade of trucks this morning and dumped on the floor of the AT&T Center in preparation for Thursday's opening of the Stock Show and Rodeo.

Gary Tate, who is the operations chairman for the rodeo, says this soil is carefully mixed, and is stored under huge tarps, to be used only during the three weeks of the rodeo every February.

"Its mixed with all different types of dirts, sand and clay," he said. "It is mixed together to obtain a consistency to support the animals."

In addition to being solid enough to support tons of cattle and horses, the dirt also has to be springy enough to be safe for the men and woman who will be performing on it for the next three weeks.

"Without being so hard that you get thrown off," he said. "Concussions are a big deal these days, so it is also for safety."

He says the most punishing event for the dirt is the famour barrel rides, due to the speed of the horses and the maneuvers needed to clear the barrels.

Tate says the dirt has to be certified by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and must be carefully tended durind the rodeo.

This morning, for example, the dirt was too wet due to the recent rains, so the floor beneath it had to be heated to dry it out.

The Spurs, meanwhile, are on their famous Rodeo Road Trip, and will be away from the AT&T Center until February 27th.

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