Mayor’s statement on not proceeding with CFR bid
“City Council has made the decision not to proceed with its bid for the 2017 Canadian Finals Rodeo.
“While the CFR has a long and proud history in Edmonton, there were several important factors that led us to withdrawing our intent to bid.
“Edmonton’s bid in February to extend CFR for another five years was rejected by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association. From our perspective, this bid was a strong one and it included opportunities to grow the sport, as well as a substantial increase in prize money for both cowboys and stock handlers.
“After months of deliberation, it was determined that we could not improve upon this bid and responding to the terms of the new RFP would expose City taxpayers to significant financial risk.
“This does not mean that the door for rodeo in Edmonton is closed forever.
“We know this city has deep western roots, and that visitors from across Canada have made rodeo week and Farm Fair part of their annual tradition. These visitors are important to Edmonton.
“That’s why I am pleased to share that we are aware that Oilers Entertainment Group is working to bring professional bull riding to the city and have signed a letter of intent with the Professional Bull Riding (PBR) Association to host an event in 2017, in parallel with Farm Fair.
“This brand new event will build on the success of other PBR events across North America and will showcase our city to television audiences on both sides of the border. It is expected to include a western-themed festival with bull-riding, country and western concerts, and community events. It will also ensure the continued success of Farm Fair.
“In the meantime, Edmonton will continue its work towards hosting a successful Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2016 and we wish the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association the best in the future.
“We are excited to forge a new chapter in our western story and pleased that rodeo fans can continue to call Edmonton home base.”