This is Our Story

Ongoing Legacy within the Community

As of December 2023, we are thrilled to have such a well-respected local yet global company as Sandhills Global recognize the proud history and exciting ongoing growth potential lend their name to our county fairgrounds and seven of its largest spaces with brands that are relevant to so many of our visitors. 

The Event Center team is working hard to complete a modernization of our visitor infrastructure funded by a $10 million State of Nebraska Shovel Ready Grant awarded in October 2023. This project will be completed by the end of 2025 as we prepare for the contracted return of the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR), the world’s largest rodeo, in July 2026 and July 2027. 

You are invited to be a part of the SGEC impact story as it continues to unfold! 

Beginnings and Purpose

The Sandhills Global Event Center is the county fairgrounds serving Lancaster County residents. The Event Center opened its doors as the “Lancaster Event Center” in 2001. The Lancaster County Agricultural Society, which acts as owner/operator of the county fairgrounds on behalf of county citizens (as is true in most Nebraska counties for over 150 years), envisioned the Event Center as a way to address two challenges.  First, the Lancaster County Fair had outgrown the Nebraska State Fairgrounds, and there was no way to expand into the surrounding area. Second, the unique mission of the Lancaster County Ag Society to engage youth and our community in agriculture could be best met with a dedicated year-round facility for county-level needs—which was apparent long before it was known the State Fair was moving out of Lincoln in 2010.

Building from the Ground Up

Over 22 years, the Event Center has organically grown with a lot of bootstrap hard work by the Lancaster County Ag Society, its expert staff, and a high level of community support. The Lancaster County Board was a key partner from day one, combining their county-level missions in the Lancaster County Fairgrounds JPA (Joint Public Agency) to build out and improve the fairgrounds.  Through the first two of three phases planned to fully build out the Event Center and ongoing improvements funded through the lodging tax and other grants, the Event Center has established itself as the busiest fairgrounds in Nebraska.  The Sandhills Global Event Center (SGEC) is the newly-named ongoing home of the Lancaster County Super Fair – the largest county fair in Nebraska – in addition to over 100 event days for local nonprofits, government, business, and family uses.  In fact, SGEC is the largest community gathering place in the county and one of the largest on-call emergency shelter locations in SE Nebraska with the unique ability to host people, animals and large vehicles including RVs. 

But much more than that, SGEC has grown into one of Nebraska’s leading out-of-state event venues by building a national reputation.  SGEC is now home to the second-largest indoor agricultural show in the United States, the largest rodeo in the world, and the venue of choice for over 150 days of regional, national and even international shows and events of all kinds. The Lancaster County Agricultural Society continues to manage the Event Center with the leadership of its uniquely expert staff.  We are proud to drive impact with a wide variety of community event uses as well as economic impact with as much as $70 million in outside of county visitor spending annually.  

Up To

$72 Million

Economic impact per year
Up To


Visitor Days each year


Event Days Annually

Mission & Vision 

The Lancaster County Agricultural Society’s Mission is three-fold: 

  1. Provide a wonderful, welcoming and fun experience at a great value. 
  2. Share experiences in a unique venue that showcases the agricultural nature of Lancaster County and State of Nebraska. 
  3. Contribute greatly to the county’s youth, culture and economy.

Our Vision is to be a leading ag event-focused event center not only regionally, but also nationally.