The Canadian Finals Rodeo needs a new home and both the City of Saskatoon and the City of Red Deer are interested.
On Monday, Tourism Saskatoon president and CEO Todd Brandt confirmed they have been in talks with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) regarding the long-term future for CFR. Brandt said they are developing a business plan and aim to present it to the CPRA before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Red Deer’s Westerner Park has put together a multi-year proposal to host the CFR beginning in November 2018.
“It’s very exciting,” said Ben Antifaiff, general manager and CEO of Westerner Park Association. “This is the potential to bring a very high-profile event to our community and generate a tremendous amount of economic impact by having the CFR rodeo here.”
If successful, the event would be held at the ENMAX Centrium which is home to the Red Deer Rebels and holds about 6,600 fans.
Over 90,000 fans attended the four-day rodeo event this year in Edmonton. According to the CFR, combined with Farmfair International, the economic impact for the City of Edmonton is estimated to have been around $50 million.
Antifaiff said Red Deer has been looking at the bid for some time and added adjustments could be made to expand the capacity of ENMAX Centrium to 8,000.
The CFR has been held at Northlands Coliseum for 44 years but organizers have been forced to search for a new venue since the city decided to shut down Northlands Coliseum in January 2018.
Other cities have previously expressed interest in hosting the CFR, including Saskatoon and Calgary.
In September, Jeff Robson with the CPRA said he thought there was a “reasonable” chance CFR 45 would move over to Rogers Place after the Coliseum closes.
A public presentation to the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association was made on Nov. 30 at the ENMAX Centrium.
“We think we have a really good home for the CFR and CPRA to call their next home,” Antifaiff said. “We know what we need to do to carry that legacy forward and show the community that CFR is important and it’s important to keep it in Alberta.”
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