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NFR To Leave Las Vegas After Next Years Event

Harry How, Getty Images

 

Las Vegas has always been a popular location for Wyoming rodeo fans in December. It now appears that a flight to Orlando will have to be booked. On Sunday December 15th, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association board voted 6-3 Sunday to reject Las Vegas’ offer to keep the NFR past 2014 and to chase a more richer offer to move to Central Florida near Disney World and Orlando.

Less than 24 hours after the NFR completed its 29th year in Las Vegas, the Osceola County Commission met at noon Sunday to approve a memorandum of understanding with the PRCA.

The county near Orlando, according to their memorandum of understanding, will provide $16 million in annual purses and administrative costs as well as a new 24,000-seat arena. That comes to a little over $4 million more than the current Vegas offer. The board of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based PRCA voted to pursue the Orlando area as the NFR’s new home.

With a record setting attendance figure for Saturday nights final performance and a record setting attendance of almost 200,000 for the Cowboy Christmas/ Fan Fest events, this equates to a big loss of money spending visitors at a time when Las Vegas casinos traditionally see a seasonal downturn in business. Economic impact of the NFR has been pegged at over $60 million dollars pumped in to the local economy. The loss of these dollars are prompting organizers in Vegas to create their own championship rodeo to start in December 2015 to keep some of these fans, and their dollars, close to Sin City

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