Dan Eddy, general manager of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, has been suspended with pay by the organization, pending an investigation of complaints made against him by office staff.
Former CPRA director Terry Cooke, who resigned Friday, said Eddy was suspended after the organization received complaint letters from about half a dozen CPRA employees. The suspension was made public on Saturday during the association’s annual general meeting in Airdrie, where the association office is also located. Cooke attended that meeting.
Eddy was not at the meeting and did not immediately respond to a text request for comment.
The specific nature of the complaints is not known.
Cooke said an outside human relations firm will conduct an investigation of the complaints.
Eddy and his negotiating team has so far failed to find a home for the Canadian Finals Rodeo, which has been held in Edmonton since 1974. The 2016 CFR takes place in early November at what will by then be known as Northlands Coliseum. The contract with Northlands expires after that event.
However, Cooke said the meeting was told that the CPRA is negotiating with Northlands over a possible one-year extension of that contract for 2017. But that’s not exactly accurate.
Northlands spokesperson Cathy Kiss said Saturday that the CPRA reached out to them last week but Northlands stands in partnership with the city, which decided not to submit a bid for the CFR under the current terms of the request for proposal. The deadline for those submissions passed May 5.
The Canadian Finals Rodeo has been held in Edmonton since 1974. This photo was shot at Rexall Place in 2015.JOHN LUCAS / POSTMEDIA / FILE
However, if the terms of the request for proposal were to change, and the city were to consider a bid, the Coliseum will be available for major events through the end of 2017.
Kiss said recently that the Ford World Men’s Curling Championships to be held there in the spring of 2017 provides about $1.3 million in guaranteed revenue to Northlands, enough to operate the building for the entire calendar year.
Cooke said the meeting was also told that the CPRA is still negotiating with Saskatoon and the Oilers Entertainment Group. Again, that’s not exactly accurate.
In March, the CPRA rejected a bid by the OEG to host CFR at Rogers Place beginning in 2017.
Bob Nicholson, CEO of the Oilers Entertainment Group, confirmed that the CPRA tried to reopen negotiations last week. However, he said he told Eddy there was no need for the two sides to have any more discussions, since the OEG now has a five-year agreement with Professional Bull Riders to hold an event at Rogers Place that will fill the early November time slot usually occupied by CFR.
Though Saskatoon did not submit a bid for the CFR by the May 5 deadline, Tourism Saskatoon officials were interested in continuing discussions with the CPRA.