October 16, 2018 11:05 pm
Updated: October 16, 2018 11:07 pm

Red Deer ready to wrangle new visitors with city set to host Canadian Finals Rodeo for 1st time

WATCH ABOVE: For decades it was held in Edmonton but now it's Red Deer who is getting ready to host its first-ever Canadian Finals Rodeo. Albert Delitala reports.


The Canadian Finals Rodeo gets underway in exactly two weeks and while the event has 45 years of tradition behind it, the 2018 edition will usher in a new era as Red Deer hosts the rodeo for the first time in its history.

“It’s going to bring a whole new group of people into Red Deer,” Bradley Williams, the CEO of Westerner Park — where the CFR is set to take place — said on Tuesday. “It’s going to give us the opportunity to show off Westerner Park and what we can do and the type of events we can hold.”

For 44 years, the CFR was held in Alberta’s capital but when the City of Edmonton decided to shutdown the venue it was held in — Northlands Coliseum — the CFR looked at other options.

READ MORE: Red Deer named 2018 host city of Canadian Finals Rodeo

Watch below: In January 2018, Sarah Kraus filed this report about the Canadian Finals Rodeo officially moving to Red Deer.

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On Tuesday, organizers held a news conference to announce the CFR’s finalized lineup competitors in its various events.

“We’ve been busy meeting every week,” said Jeff Robson, the general manager of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association — the sanctioning body which approves professional rodeo events in Canada. “[We’re] trying to dot the Is and cross the Ts to make sure that we’re not missing anything.

“We’re bound to miss something,” he said. “After you move an event that’s been kind of entrenched of the same people doing the same jobs for 40 years, we’re bound to miss something, but hopefully our misses are small and we can deliver on a great final experience.”

Organizers says sponsorship money has been flowing in and they expect the CFR to attract 75,000 visitors to the region when it gets underway. They anticipate that the event will generate $20 million in economic activity for the Red Deer area.

The 2018 edition of the CFR gets underway on Oct. 30 and wraps up on Nov. 4.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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