As has been reported for the past couple of days, it’s now official that the Canadian Finals Rodeo is going to stay at Northlands Coliseum for the next couple of years, through 2018. What’s on the agenda now is sorting out a long term future for the event, which could include an eventual move downtown.
“This event should stay in Edmonton, even if it doesn’t stay necessarily at the Northlands Coliseum,” president and CEO Tim Reid told reporters. He admitted the Oilers Entertainment Group and Rogers Place is part of their thinking.
“We’d welcome the opportunity to pull OEG to the table at any time if they wanted to have the conversation.”
“This is a premier event, and I hope that it stays in Edmonton. It likely would have to find another long term home, depending what happens with Vision 2020,” he said.
Jeff Robson with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association said staying put at Northlands for 2017 and 2018 gives the rodeo cowboys time to map out a future. This comes after his predecessors rejected a spring time bid from the City of Edmonton, and the Oilers to create a long term relationship.
“The board clearly split,” said Robson, who now fronts the association after the previous management team left. “The guys that have stayed, I think they have the best intentions. I think clearly there was a difference of opinion. The group that stayed wants to see this settle down.”
“They said it well. There’s a scar there. I think they want to see where things end up. I think Bob Nicholson said it best in the press a long time ago, ‘it’s narrowed, it hasn’t closed.’ So the door is still open a crack and we’ll be there.”
Edmonton has hosted the Canadian Finals Rodeo since 1974. The 2016 edition of Canadian Finals Rodeo runs Nov. 9-13.