Leaving Las Vegas: National Finals Rodeo Heading To Central Florida In '15
The city of Las Vegas "lost the prized National Finals Rodeo when the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association board voted 6-3 Sunday to reject" the city's offer to keep the event past '14, according to Alan Snel of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The PRCA will "pursue a more lucrative offer" to move the event to Osceola County, Fla., which will provide $16M in "annual purses and administrative costs as well as a new 24,000-seat arena." County commissioners voted 5-0 on the "financial package to lure the NFR from Las Vegas." Osceola County Commission Chair Frank Hawkins Jr. said that the PRCA deal with is for 20 years, but "either side may pull out after 10 years, with three years notice." He added that the '15 NFR is to be held at Amway Center and "at a new arena built near the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Osceola County in 2016." Meanwhile, Las Vegas Events President Pat Christenson said that Las Vegas Events "already is working on its own championship rodeo event" to be held in December '15. Snel reports the NFR's daily Cowboy Christmas/FanFest event at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Dec. 5-14 "drew record attendance for the 10-day run as 196,698 people checked out exhibits and cowboy displays." The attendance was "more than 10,000 higher than last year’s 186,100." The fanfest event "debuted alongside the retail Cowboy Christmas in 2012." Meanwhile, the NFR "set an event attendance record on the final night Saturday, when 18,242 fans packed the arena" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 12/16). In Las Vegas, John Katsilometes noted Osceola County's offer was $4M "higher than that of Las Vegas." The usual outlay from Las Vegas Events was $15M, "counting all peripheral expenses and prize money" (LASVEGASSUN.com, 12/15).