DALLAS, Aug. 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Elite Rodeo Association (ERA), an innovative new rodeo corporation created by the top rodeo athletes in the world, is proud to announce the signing of a five-year partnership with the Dallas Sports Commission and the City of Dallas to bring its World Championship to Dallas.
"Professional rodeo needed an elite tour showcasing only the best talent in the world," said Tony Garritano, CEO and President of the ERA. "We believe that a regular season format, ending in its own world championship event, will be exciting for rodeo fans to follow. Fans will benefit by watching the most competitive rodeo action that the sport has to offer. Thanks to the City of Dallas, our new tour will have a tremendous home for its world championship."
With a mission of ensuring the integrity of the sport of rodeo and to provide additional opportunities for professional rodeo athletes and industry partners, the Elite Rodeo Association, also doing business as Elite Rodeo Athletes, plans to work in cooperation with existing rodeo venues and sports arenas across North America to create a tour that will showcase the best talent in professional rodeo.
"World championship rodeo is coming home to the state of Texas and the city of Dallas," said Phillip J. Jones, President and CEO of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Big things happen here in Dallas and we look forward to sharing our great city with rodeo fans from around the world."
The ERA will only showcase the best rodeo athletes in the world. Currently comprised of past and present World Champions, they represent 118 World Champion titles collectively. While the current ownership includes existing top competitors, the model allows for aspiring elite rodeo athletes to participate and earn ownership in the ERA.
"By introducing a unique concept like the ERA, it is our hope to increase the awareness of the sport of rodeo overall," says 21-time world champion cowboy and ERA Board Member, Trevor Brazile. "Enhancing the sport of professional rodeo and helping to build something greater for the future generation rodeo cowboy and cowgirl is the goal of the ERA. We look forward to working with the entire rodeo industry."
The ERA is very proud that its World Championship event will be hosted by the City of Dallas. Along with the Dallas Sports Commission, Dallas has agreed to a five-year, multi-million dollar agreement with the ERA. The inaugural ERA World Championship event is scheduled to take place at the American Airlines Center, November 9-13, 2016. The annual event will award a payout in excess of $3 million over a 5-day annual competition—making this first World Championship event one of the largest payouts in rodeo history.
"The American Airlines Center is honored to be hosting the ERA World Championship beginning in 2016," said Dave Brown, Vice President and General Manager of the Center. "We believe the Center will provide a great atmosphere for rodeo fans as the top rodeo athletes in the world compete in Dallas."
"The Dallas Sports Commission is committed to bringing great sporting events to the city of Dallas," said Monica Paul, Executive Director of the Dallas Sports Commission. "The ERA World Championship is the type of event that will have a positive economic impact and raise the profile of Dallas as a premier sports destination."
In 2016, the ERA will produce a 15 event regular-season tour, all broadcast on national network television on FOX Sports, culminating with its 5-day World Championship event Nov. 9-13, 2016 in Dallas. The ERA has plans to expand the number of tour stops to 26 in the future