PRCA Declines LVE Offer to Keep NFR in Sin City

This story was originally published on Sunday December 15th, 2013. There have been additions made as of this morning, Tuesday December 17th and now also December 26th and December 30th.

The latest news says that LVE has given the PRCA two weeks to provide a counter offer, that brings us to January 14th, 2014.

Read more here:

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — This statement was released today from the Las Vegas NFR page on Facebook. The page is run by Las Vegas Events promoting the NFR in Las Vegas. It does say they will have a rodeo either way.

In my opinion, we will see the big rodeos take things over and everywhere else will be a starting ground until you can get qualified for that elite tour. This could be the start of tiering rodeo for the better of the sport. How do you think things will go?

Read the statements and links below and please share your thoughts on what you think the future may hold now for our sport with this potential move.

Via the Official NFR Experience on Facebook:

The 2014 #WranglerNFR Las Vegas dates will be December 4-13, 2014. You will hear many rumblings over the next few months about the future of the NFR and Las Vegas. Here is the statement we issued earlier today. We look forward to a great relationship with our fans in 2014 and beyond!

Statement from Las Vegas Events Regarding the PRCA’s Rejection of Las Vegas’ Offer to Extend the Contract for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

The PRCA voted today 6-3 to decline the offer Las Vegas Events made for an extension of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to pursue an offer made by Osceola County, Florida. Osceola County exceeded LVE’s offer by more than $4 million.

We are disappointed that the PRCA has chosen to pursue a completely speculative offer versus Las Vegas’ proven 29-year track record.

Adding an additional $4 million to the budget would require a 40% increase in ticket prices. That is not sustainable. We have to balance the demands of the PRCA with the consequence of pricing our fans out of the market. In fact, LVE does not generate a profit from the NFR. All revenue generated from the NFR including ticket sales, Cowboy Christmas, local sponsorship sales and a $2 million LVCVA and LVE rights fee, go directly to the contestants and the PRCA.

Now that we know the PRCA’s true intentions, we will put our full effort into developing a new Series and Finals. For almost 30 years, we have developed a loyal fan base that calls Las Vegas home for the first two weeks in December. We are confident our new “Finals” will exceed all expectations.

This story tells more about the potential move from the Florida side of things:

This is another story which talks about the Florida side of the story:

A story from the Las Vegas side:

More from the Las Vegas side and some from the PRCA’s Karl Stressman:

While making some good points, one really stood out. Based on the average ticket price of $71 as stated in the story, at the attendance at this year’s NFR being 176,558 the total is $12,535,618. The LVE commitment to the PRCA this year was $10,150,000 so leave out two million for their costs in running the event. There are likely way more.

Counting on this new 24,000 seat arena, the potential revenue from it over ten days at $71 a ticket would be $17,040,000. That would make up that $4,000,000 as said in the LVE statement. The question I’d like answered is why aren’t the casinos that are actually making the money during the NFR paying to keep the finals here?

As it stands, the NFR itself pays for itself. Everything else is mad money for Vegas once we are all here. That’s how I’m seeing it at this point. LVE is also funded by the casinos but if it’s an event that makes money then again, where is it all going? Something has got to give it looks like. Things don’t quite add up to me yet in Florida either. How are they going to get 240,000 tickets sold in the first could years just to make the event profitable?

I do the contestants could make more money at the NFR. I think that’s great for moving things forward. We will see here very shortly. Again though, I want to hear your thoughts and knowledge as mine on this subject thus far are minimal.

While we are on this note, I looked up this information on the NFR when it moved to Las Vegas from Oklahoma City. This is what I found. Interesting to note that Shawn Davis still produces the NFR today.

“1984 – Las Vegas visionary Benny Binion, along with Las Vegas Events and its then-president, Herb McDonald, had an eye on bringing the NFR to Las Vegas. But Oklahoma City, which had hosted the event for 20 years, was not about to let it go without a fight. It helped that McDonald and LVE guaranteed the rodeo a prize fund of $1.8 million to the cowboys and $700,000 to the contractors – compared to the $900,000 and $200,000, respectively, that was paid in Oklahoma City in 1984.

In December of 1984, McDonald and the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce each made their final pitches to the PRCA Board of Directors. The vote was a 6-6 tie. Thus it was left to then-PRCA president Shawn Davis, a member of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, to cast the deciding vote. He cast it for Las Vegas.” – Information courtesy:

Ted Harbin of weighs in on the matter on his site here:

In addition to all these stories, this morning this one showed up making one think the PRCA may be officially gone from Las Vegas and the new association a reality very soon.

Michael Gaughan, owner of the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa even agrees in this article that Las Vegas doesn’t need the PRCA to have a successful rodeo. 

As of December 16th, this is the only statement released by the PRCA, taken from their website.

“The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Board of Directors voted Dec. 15 to reject the terms of the current financial offer from Las Vegas Events to extend the WNFR contract past 2014. The PRCA Board did not vote to leave Las Vegas; the vote was made strictly on the content of the current offer. The PRCA continues to carefully consider offers from all potential WNFR hosts.”

Ted Harbin brought up some more good points about communication in rodeo in general and how the PRCA left this offer on the table for 18 months.

Joe Kusek weighed in with his thoughts on December 24th.

With this new information, what’s your take?



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