Staying in Edmonton: Canadian Finals Rodeo not ridin' away after all
Josh Birks, from Merriwa, Australia, comes off Wranglers Extreme during bull riding rodeo semifinal action at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, July 17, 2016. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, October 19, 2016 3:48PM EDT
EDMONTON -- The Canadian Finals Rodeo is staying in Edmonton for at least two more years of steer wrestling, calf roping and bull riding.
This November's national championship was supposed to be the last in the city after 43 years before the event moved to Saskatoon.
But Jeff Robson of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association says the rodeo and accompanying FarmFair International will continue to be held in Edmonton until 2018.
The rodeo association had signed a memorandum of understanding last summer with Saskatoon to hold the finals in that city for three years.
Robson says the rodeo board was split on the direction it should take, and the added two years in Edmonton will give all sides a chance to find a long-term solution.
The board earlier this year rejected a proposal from Edmonton and the Oilers Entertainment Group, which operates the city's new downtown arena, to hold the event after this year.
Months of talks over ticket costs, prize purses and corporate sponsorships ended with Edmonton deciding not to put in a new bid.
The Canadian Finals Rodeo, which offers one of the richest purses in Canada, will take place Nov. 9-13 at the Oilers old arena, Northlands Coliseum.
Tim Reid, CEO of Northlands, said the rodeo and other western-themed activities have a $50-million impact on the city.