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Edmonton decides not to bid on Canadian Finals Rodeo

Mayor Don Iveson announces Edmonton will not bid on 2017 Canadian Finals Rodeo. Kevin Jesus/ Global News

EDMONTON — It’s the end of an era as the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) will be leaving the City of Edmonton after 42 years.

In a news conference Thursday, Mayor Don Iveson announced the city’s decision not to proceed with a bid for the 2017 edition of the rodeo event. He expressed his disappointment with the entire process.

In February, the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association (CPRA) rejected the city’s bid for a five-year extension. The bid included a substantial increase in prize money.

Iveson stressed the decision to walk away from the CFR was made in an effort to protect the taxpayers. The terms of the request for proposal, outlined a revenue guarantee for the CPRA and all profits associated with the event.

“To expect the city to take promoter risk but also not get the upside if the event is successful is just not fair and not an acceptable risk to the taxpayers of the city of Edmonton”, Mayor Iveson said.

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There was some good news, however, as the mayor announced the Oilers Entertainment Group had signed a letter of intent to bring a Professional Bull Riders (PBR) event to Rogers Place in 2017.

“It’s expected to include a western-themed festival with bull riding, country and western concerts and community events and it will also help ensure the continued health and success of Farmfair.”

Details on the PBR event are expected to be released in the coming weeks. As for the future of the CFR, Thursday is the deadline for potential host cities to submit a bid.

The City of Saskatoon was considering a bid but has declined to do so, citing the RFP. Tourism Saskatoon CEO, Todd Brandt, says they will enter another round of discussions with the CPRA to see if they can find an improved financial framework that could lead to a future bid.

The 2016 Canadian Finals Rodeo will be held at Rexall Place November 9-13.

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