January 20, 2014

Rodeo Insider: Dallas among finalists to host National Finals

Las Vegas and Orlando are other possible host cities.

In recent weeks, it has become clear that Dallas is on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s short list to host the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo when the contract is renewed next year.

The other cities are Las Vegas, which has hosted the NFR for the past 29 years, and the Orlando, Fla., area.

PRCA officials are expecting to learn a great deal Tuesday about where Las Vegas stands. That’s because Las Vegas Events was given a counteroffer one week ago and was advised by the PRCA that they had seven days to make a ruling.

LVE was given a counteroffer after the PRCA Board of Directors voted 6-3 on Dec. 15 to reject the initial financial offer to extend the NFR contract past 2014.

The PRCA Board voted only on the offer, not on whether to leave Las Vegas. Following that, the PRCA fine-tuned the offer and resubmitted it to LVE officials.

In recent months, LVE officials have mulled over two options: Cut a deal with the PRCA to renew the contract in 2015, or create a new lucrative rodeo that’s not approved by the PRCA but invites the top competitors.

The Orlando area has been a contender for over a month. On Dec. 15, Osceola County commissioners met and gave County Manager Don Fisher the authority to negotiate with the PRCA to move the annual National Finals there beginning in 2015.

It became clear that Dallas was a contender two weeks ago when PRCA officials conducted site visits to both Dallas and Orlando. If the NFR is moved to Dallas in 2015, the American Airlines Center will be the host venue.

Dallas hosted the first National Finals in 1959 at Fair Park Coliseum. Dallas also hosted the NFR in 1960 and 1961.

American Airlines Center has hosted high-profile rodeo shows within the past decade such as the PRCA’s Texas Stampede and a Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series tour stop.

Denver rodeo update

The PRCA and the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association allow athletes to compete on both circuits at the same time.

One cowboy who is faring well on both circuits is Richie Champion. He is from The Woodlands and attends Tarleton State.

At the PRCA’s National Western Stock Show Rodeo in Denver on Monday, Champion took the lead in the bareback riding first round after turning in a score of 86. He is ranked No. 1 in the NIRA Southwest Region 2013-2014 bareback riding title race.

PBR update

When the Professional Bull Riders tour stops in Oklahoma City this weekend, Fabiano Vieira, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, will enter the Built Ford Tough Series show ranked No. 1 in the world title race with 1,746.5 points.

Defending world champion J.B. Mauney has 1,722.62 points after finishing fourth in last weekend’s tour stop in Duluth, Ga.

Georgia cowboy Sean Willingham won the Duluth show and earned $34,950.

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