SALE Mission: "Helping Youth Today So That Agriculture Can Grow Tomorrow." In 1854, in an emerging Texas cattle town, history was made when one of the first ever Texas Agricultural Fairs was held in San Antonio. In the following years, many other fairs and expositions came to San Antonio and all encountered the same problem, inadequate facilities to accommodate their needs. It was evident South Texas was in dire need of facilities to serve as a showplace for a livestock exposition. This cry for greater accommodations was heard in the early 1940s by Joe Freeman, the man who began the movement which eventually gave birth to the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum. Freeman's two prime interests were youth and the agricultural and livestock industries. His dream was to build a coliseum to be used for a number of events, but specifically, a livestock exposition for the youth of Texas. After assembling a number of volunteers, ranging from cattlemen to sports-minded citizens, the movement began to construct this multi-purpose coliseum. The years of gathering support and money paid off when construction began in January of 1948. In September, the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum was opened to the public. On February 17, 1950, a landmark event took place with the first Annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. The first exposition met with unqualified success, entertaining more than a quarter of a million visitors, an unheard of record for an opening show. In 1984, a very forward thinking SALE Executive Committee began to think about encouraging 4-H and FFA high school students to continue their interest in the agriculture industry by majoring in agricultural-related studies in college. So was born the SALE Scholarship Fund which awarded fifteen, four-year scholarships totaling $90,000 to students entering Texas colleges in the fall of 1984. 2003 was another milestone year in the history of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. For the first time since 1950, the rodeo & concert performance was not held in the Freeman Coliseum but in the brand new, state-of-the-art facility, the SBC Center, located right next door. (The SBC Center is now known as the AT&T Center) The SBC Center, a first class arena with outstanding amenities, provided over 6,000 more seats than were previously available in the Freeman Coliseum. The Freeman Coliseum then became the home to hundreds of commercial vendors providing the perfect venue for rodeo patrons ready to shop. Since SALE's inception in 1950, the Stock Show & Rodeo has grown to be one of the largest and most prestigious, single events in San Antonio with over one million visitors entering the grounds each year. To date, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo educational commitment exceeds $79 million with a record $7.6 million committed in 2007 in the form of scholarships, grants, endowments, auction, calf scramble program and show premiums paid to youth. The success of the event, positive impact on the community, world class rodeo action and entertainment and ability to provide financial support to Texas youth is the result of many hours of hard work by committed SALE volunteers.SALE has a rich tradition and history of stewardship to the community, agriculture industry and youth of Texas. With a clear vision of the future, a successful past and continual dedication from over 4,000 volunteers, SALE will continue to provide wholesome family entertainment and be a pillar of strength and support to the youth of Texas.