National Finals Rodeo rejects deal to stay in Vegas - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

National Finals Rodeo rejects deal to stay in Vegas

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Trevor Knowles of Decatur, Texas, and Patrick Smith break out of the chute for a time of 4.2 during the Steer Wrestling Event on the final day of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Arena. (Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Glenn Pinkerton) Trevor Knowles of Decatur, Texas, and Patrick Smith break out of the chute for a time of 4.2 during the Steer Wrestling Event on the final day of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Arena. (Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Glenn Pinkerton)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association declined a Las Vegas Events extension for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and is pursuing an offer to move the event to central Florida.

PRCA has called Las Vegas home for 29 years to host its prize event, but voted Sunday 6-3 to reject LVE's offer and move the event east in 2015.

Osceola County, FL, is south of Orlando and offered more than $4 million above that of Las Vegas Events' proposal.

In a statement, PRCA explained its move on passing over Las Vegas:

"The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Board of Directors voted today (Sunday) 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."

In a statement issued by LVE spokesman Michael Mack, he states: "We are disappointed that the PRCA has chosen to pursue a completely speculative offer versus Las Vegas' proven 29-year track record."

The 2014 NFR will be held at the Thomas and Mack Center, and LVE said it plans on developing a new Series and Finals after that to exceed all expectations.

Rodeo fans on Monday expressed disappointment with the decision.

"I think it's probably a poor idea," fan Dave Anderson said.

"I'm not happy with it, but it's their decision," fan Jeremy Hogue added.

Hogue and his wife came to NFR from New Mexico with their kids this year. They said they won't be attending in 2015.

"I mean, Orlando is too expensive for us, but Vegas has not been expensive compared to that," he said. "Vegas has been great to our kids."

Meanwhile, David Schwartz, director of UNLV's Center for Gaming Research, said Las Vegas will need to come up with something to fill the gap which will be left in December.

"That dead zone between Thanksgiving and Christmas really is the slow part," he said.

Schwartz said a replacement rodeo could be just the thing.

"I think it can still draw a lot of people. I think it's going to be cheaper for people to get here, they'll have more to do when they get here and it'll be easier for them," he said.

Fans we spoke with said NFR is just a name and that they will continue to choose Las Vegas over Florida.

"When you look at Vegas, you've got a lot more area for hotels. It's more centralized in the U.S. You know Florida, you're down in the bottom corner," said fan Dave Anderson, who traveled to Las Vegas from Denver.

According to UNLV's Center for Gaming Research, NFR last year created $90 million in non-gaming revenue for our economy. Before coming to Las Vegas, the rodeo was held in Oklahoma City and Dallas before that.

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