Texas Responds To The PRCA Decision To Keep the WNFR In Las Vegas


Editors Note:  I have received information regarding all three proposals and what is and is not included in them.  I received a call from the Media Relations Department of the PRCA and Jim Bainbridge explains the differences in how each of them are written.  I strive to make sure that the Rodeo Round Up covers facts of the matter and would like to include Mr. Bainbridge’s statement.  He states, ” The total numbers cited in the Dallas bid report erroneously included production costs, marketing dollars and hotel rooms, none of which was included in the figures reported for Las Vegas or Osceola County.  When you compare the three bids side by side, they were all very comparable.”  It seems that each proposal is about equal if you look at everything that is included and not included. 

Please understand that this story is written on the information that was given to me by the folks in Texas that were close to the negotiations.  If and when I receive any other information I will share that just as I am doing in this story.  Thank you all for your understanding as I am trying to get each person’s side to the story and try to report facts.  I welcome any comments or concerns and if I find facts that I report are not completely true I step up and fix it ASAP.

I would like to thank each and every one of you that have voiced your concerns and to Jim Bainbridge for the telephone call.  I am hoping to receive the other two bids in due time so everyone can have all the facts before them to see where everything lies.

The news from the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association about keeping the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas through 2024 shocked some and others expected it.

I was able to talk to some of those directly involved with the negotiations for bringing the WNFR to Texas and got their reactions to the decision.  Not only did I get the reactions but was able to get the actual numbers of their proposal that was ultimately turned down.

Trust me, these numbers and the decision may shock you once you see them but remember there are always two sides to every story!

dollar sign

The offer that Texas had on the table is absolutely astounding and should have been hard to turn down the way it is written.  Everyone knows what the numbers were for moving the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to Florida but it was never published what the exact numbers were for the Texas bid.

I have talked with those involved directly and they have given me the go ahead to announce the actual numbers.  Trust me when I say no one will fully understand everything that is involved in making these tough decisions.  I have seen what the Las Vegas numbers were in the official press release regarding the decision and you can see that here as well.

Las Vegas Events have upped the prize money to $16.5 million each year starting in 2015 and along with that each participant will receive a guaranteed $10,000 that will be in addition to any prize money that they win throughout the ten days.  This is a great offer that will benefit the contestants and put more money in their pocket but the Texas offer looked even bigger on paper.

The city of Dallas’s offer on the table was to guarantee $18 million each year over the five year contract.  Now Dallas can offer this money without any state legislation under a clause called the Events Fund.  With that being said there was even more money that was going to be on the table in a very short amount of time.

According to my sources that were directly involved with the negotiations there would have been an additional 6 to 12 million more added each year under a Major Events Clause.  The only hurdle that was left to make the total pot each year between 24 and 30 million was getting the state legislature approval.  This number includes the total amount to out on the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo including hotels, production costs and marketing for the event itself.

This was already well on the way of happening with full support of Governor Rick Perry and State Representative Cecil Bell Jr.

tx ORCA pic

PRCA Commissioner Karl Stressman, Governor Rick Perry and Texas State Representative Cecil Bell Jr.

I Spoke to Representative Cecil Bell Jr. tonight to get his reaction to the decision handed down by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Board of Directors.

As you can well imagine he was not excited about the decision to keep the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.  He stated, “Obviously I’m disappointed in the PRCA board’s decision to keep the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.  We worked hard here in Texas to put the money and the venues in place to bring the NFR back home where it belongs. It was surprising to see the PRCA leave so much money on the table and still keep the event in Las Vegas. The new NFR deal is for 10 years. Everybody knows Texas and rodeo go together. We’re already looking at possible options for the future.”

Some other facts that have not been discussed yet is the fact the Thomas & Mack Center holds 17,000 fans and I found out that the  configuration for the American Airlines Center for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo would have held 28,000 each year which is over 10,000 more seats each year for the five year contract.

On the other end Florida offered the Amway center for the first year with a new arena being built by the time the WNFR rolled around in 2016.  The new arena would have held 24,000 which is 7,000 more seats each year.

I have a feeling no one will ever know what exactly happened with the negotiations in Las Vegas but something big happened over the last 48 hours.

Trust me when I say that I do not believe this is the last we have heard from the city of Dallas or the State of Texas.  What we all have to remember is there is still the defection of the top contestants in the world forming their own organization and the start of the RFD-TV’s American.

Texas may not have landed the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo but I will bet that in the very near future I will be reporting on big things happening down south.  Please feel free to leave any comments and what your thoughts are on the Texas and Florida proposals compared to the Las Vegas settlement!








5 responses to “Texas Responds To The PRCA Decision To Keep the WNFR In Las Vegas”

  1. Jim Haile Avatar
    Jim Haile

    Tom Hicks tried a rodeo at the AAC and it was a disaster. That rodeo is now in Allen and it is small. No one wants to go to Dallas. It is not western. It is not safe, The only people that go to the AAC live close. Ft Worth could not fill 6000 seats on a Friday night. Around North Texas people would rather go to Arlington or Ft Worth. PRCA made the right move.
    Las Vegas is a destination vacation. That is why the NFR works so well there.

  2. Jim Avatar

    In the long run I think this is ALL going to be a plus for our sport. It has remained pretty much the same for many years now and change is welcome.

  3. Neal Avatar

    If the state legislature has to get involved, that sounds as though tax dollars would be used. Sorry, but we have other things here in the state that I feel those tax dollars could be better used for.

  4. Dale blehm Avatar
    Dale blehm

    As someone on the outside looking in maybe for once it’s not about the money but what’s good for the sport and the people involved

  5. Walter Avatar

    I just wanted to point out that Karl Stressman published his response in the Pro Rodeo Sports News magazine. He clearly explains how many folks were simply wrong about the deal made between LVE and the PRCA for the NFR in Vegas. Read what he says and those who were pissed about the deal may just find out how wrong they were and are.

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