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Breaking news: Las Vegas’ contract with the NFR not being extended, ends in 2014

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The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association has rejected Las Vegas' offer to extend their contract past 2014 by a vote of 6-3 and has opted instead to move the event to the city of Kissimmee, Florida, accepting an offer by the Osceola County Board of Commissioners. One of the key factors to the decision was Florida's offer of $4 million more than that of Las Vegas.

Pat Christenson, President of Las Vegas Events (LVE), said that the offer made by LVE included a $15 million commitment covering everything from event production, marketing and promotions and hotel accommodations, plus other fan favorites like the Cowboy Christmas and free transportation to the Thomas & Mack Center for all 10 days.

“Adding an additional $4 million to the budget would require a 40-percent 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.” - From a statement issued by Michael Mack, Las Vegas Events (LVE) spokesman

A new 20,000-seat arena that is slated to be built by MGM Resorts and AEG is scheduled to be opened in 2016 and is located right on the Las Vegas Strip.

Less than 24 hours after the National Finals Rodeo concluded its 29th year in Las Vegas, KSNV News 3 reported that the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), which hosts the NFR every year, could be leaving the valley after its contract ends in 2014.

The Osceola Board of County Commissioners met in Kissimmee, Florida where they voted 5-0 to enter into a “memorandum of understanding” with the American Music Resort (AMR) and the PRCA to bring the NFR to their city for a minimum of 10 years. The commissioners also proposed to build a new 24,000 seat arena that would be built near the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center and would be ready by 2016.

The first year would be held at Orlando’s Amway Center which is home to NBA’s Orlando Magic while the new arena is under construction.

Las Vegas has benefited greatly by having the rodeo in town – which has been its home since 1985 – attracting over 170,000 fans annually, selling out every day of the 10-day event. Just last year alone, the rodeo generated over $90 million in non-gaming revenue for the city.

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