Tourism Saskatoon Executive Director Todd Brandt says they would be open to bidding for the Canadian Finals Rodeo, if the opportunity came up.
Edmonton City Council voted to close Northlands Coliseum, the venue where the CFR is being held this year, at the start of 2018, leaving the future of the rodeo in Edmonton uncertain.
It appeared Saskatoon would win the bid for 2017, but at the last second the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association turned and chose Edmonton instead. Brandt says they would make sure to establish who at the bargaining table is the decision making body.
“Who is ultimately in control of the direction set by the CPRA,” says Brandt. “It’s sometimes like fighting ghosts, when you don’t know who you’re supposed to be negotiating with and who makes decisions, so I think some clarity of that would be fundamental to any negotiation moving forwards.”
Brandt notes the PBR Canadian Finals are already scheduled in Saskatoon through 2019.
“We’ve got to be a little bit careful here. We’ve got existing agreements with the Professional Bull Riding Association for the next couple years in Saskatoon, and you have to be respectful and mindful of what’s already in place. Could there be conversations down the road? Absolutely, never say no to any business opportunity.”
In a statement, the CPRA says they will “continue conversations that serve the best interests of our members and the sport of rodeo.”