Posted 9 months ago
By Kevin Horn
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports today that Las Vegas has lost the National Finals Rodeo.
On Sunday, the day after the NRF concluded its 29th consecutive year in Sin City, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association board voted 6-3 to reject a Vegas offer to keep the NFR past 2014 and to pursue a more lucrative offer to move the rodeo to Central Florida near Disney World and Orlando.
The Osceola County, Florida Commission met at noon Sunday to approve a memorandum of understanding with the PRCA.
The county near Orlando will provide $16 million in annual purses and administrative costs as well as a new 24,000-seat arena. The board of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based PRCA voted to pursue the Orlando area as the NFR’s new home.
In a statement, PRCA Commissioner Karl Stressman said, “The PRCA Board did not vote to leave Las Vegas; the vote was made strictly on the content of the current offer. The PRCA continues to carefully consider offers from all potential WNFR hosts.”
Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events, which is funded by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and promotes the NFR, called the move “a big mistake.”
Christenson did not appreciate PRCA’s saying it did not reject Las Vegas.
“At some point, they have to decide they want to be in Las Vegas and that was today,” Christenson said. “They have a MOU (memorandum of understanding) with another market. Our interpretation is that they rejected our offer, and they’re moving on,” he told the Review-Journal.