Canadian Finals Rodeo Goes To Red Deer For Ten Years

By Katy Lucas Canadian Finals Rodeo Announcement

“This is a great day for rodeo in Canada,” said Terry Cooke, president of the CPRA.

In a press conference at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta, it was announced that Canada’s pinnacle rodeo event had officially found its new home. The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association signed a 10-year deal with Westerner Park and the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce to host the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

“We came to an agreement today — went through the contract — it’s going to be great for the cowboys, for the fans, the city and rodeo in Canada,” Cooke said. “This has been going on a long time and it feels so good to be wanted by a community. These guys want us to be here and we want to be here.”

The event has called Edmonton home for the last 44 years and the pressure was on when the Northlands Coliseum announced it would be closing a year ahead of schedule, leaving CFR without the home it thought it would have for 2018. The Sasktel Centre and Saskatoon Tourism in Saskatchewan showed interest in hosting the event but ultimately the Red Deer proposal was chosen.

“We were of the strong belief that our offer was the best offer, a lot of that is to do with our venue,” said Ben Antifaiff, CEO and general manager at Westerner Park. “We can house the livestock right on site, all the livestock can be stabled, (and) no livestock is going to have to be trucked on and off site. It’s way better for the animals and a lot easier on the animals and that’s an important part of the competition.”

As for housing CFR fans, the smaller venue already has a plan for that.

“Certainly we have a smaller seating capacity, but we also have the ability for the first year to put up temporary bleachers and we intend to do that,” Antifaiff said. “We also have the Parkland Pavilion right next door and adjacent to this building. We’re going to set up our cabaret series and simulcast in that building. We can put another 2,000 people in, so taking in to consideration what our current capacity is, add temporary bleachers and also a simulcast next door, and we can put just about 10,000 people on our property to enjoy the CFR and that pretty well rivals what the average was at Northlands in Edmonton.”


With a new team at the helm comes some changes to CFR. While there are still many details to be decided, some key differences will be:

  • Date: The 2018 CFR will take place October 30 to November 4, earlier than the traditional time frame that falls over Remembrance Day. 
  • Length: The CFR will still have six performances, but only have one performance each night from Tuesday through Saturday, and the matinee performance on Sunday. Contestants will no longer have back-to-back performances on Saturday. 
  • Junior addition: What was traditionally the Saturday matinee performance will now be replaced with a junior rodeo event to showcase the future stars of rodeo as they compete for a share of a $24,000 scholarship fund. 
  • Purse: In 2017 the CFR purse totaled $1.61 million (not including the novice events); in 2018 the top competitors in Canada will compete for $1.65 million.

While there will be changes, the organizers from Red Deer pledged that many aspects will remain the same:

  • Six-pack tickets: organizers are coming up with a conversion plan for the previous CFR six-pack ticket holders to purchase what they will call “all-in” ticket packages for the Red Deer venue that will include the seven (six professional and one junior) performances during CFR. 
  • Benevolent Fund: The organizers will be carrying on the Rodeo Cowboys Benevolent Fund to help support competitors that are injured and unable to compete and earn money. 
  • Events: Surrounding events like the Ladies Of Canadian Pro Rodeo Fashion Show, the Miss Rodeo Canada Pageant, and the CFR Night of Champions are welcomed by the new committee. 
  • Sponsors: Organizers plan to reach out to existing CFR sponsors.

The organizers from Red Deer were also motivated to create a strong proposal by what hosting an event of this magnitude could do for the central Alberta city, surrounding area, and its businesses.

“The models that we’ve put together show an economic impact of between 20 and 30 million dollars annually for Red Deer and the region. So translate that over 10 years and that’s an extremely significant number,” said Robin Bobocel, CEO of Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce.

The group also pointed out that there are 2.9 million people within an hour and a half of Red Deer that could greatly influence not only the event, but the sport as well.

“Isn’t it a great opportunity for us to grow the sport of rodeo and expose new people to the sport, to have us in such close proximity to them I think is a huge opportunity and we will not waste it,” said Bobocel.

Logan Bird: Back In Action And Stringing From The Belt For The American

Logan Bird - 2017 Canadian Champion Tie Down Roper

Just two and a half months after Logan Bird was involved in a single-vehicle accident that could have potentially ended his life, the 2017 Canadian champion tie-down roper is back in action. 

Bear Pascoe Trades Football Cleats For Cowboy Boots At The American

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports USATSI_7640169_168383134_lowres.jpg

The last time McKenna Sean “Bear” Pascoe entered AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, he was wearing cleats. The next time he enters the stadium it will be wearing cowboy boots. 

How To Win RFD-TV’s The American, Presented By Dish

2016 RFD-TV EVENTS, LLC. 16-121-1330_watermarked.jpg

Hundreds of competitors will soon descend upon the Fort Worth, Texas, area for RFD-TV’s The American, presented by Dish, with the semi finals at Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth on Feb. 20-24 and the finals at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Feb. 25. 

Around The World: Who Traveled The Farthest To Get To The American?

2016 RFD-TV EVENTS, LLC. The American at ATT Stadium 2 Jerry McClure-0534_watermarked.jpg

How far would you travel in the hopes of winning a share of over $2 million?

FloRodeo to Live Stream RFD-TV’s The AMERICAN, Presented by Dish

The American at ATT Stadium 2 Jerry McClure-0331_watermarked.jpg

AUSTIN, Texas -- February 12, 2018 -- FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, today announced an exclusive partnership with RFD-TV’s The AMERICAN to live stream the Semi-Finals and Finals. Known as The World’s Richest One-Day Rodeo, the top rodeo competitors from around the world compete for $2,500,000.

Will Jess Lockwood Become The Youngest Champion Of The American?

Photo by Andy Watson / BullStockMedia 17-185-412 Photo by Andy Watson.JPG

As of 2017, the youngest competitor to ever win RFD-TV’s The American, presented by Dish was the very first winner of the event. Richmond Champion took home the bareback title and full $1 million bonus in 2014 at the age of 21. 

Top Draws: Frontier Rodeo Company's Show Stomper And Maple Leaf

2016 RFD-TV EVENTS, LLC. 16-121-1014_watermarked.jpg

Frontier Rodeo Company has produced some of the top horses in the professional rodeo game for many years — notably saddle bronc horse “Medicine Woman” and bareback horse “Full Baggage,” who have earned a combined total of six PRCA stock of the year awards.

$40,000 Per Second: The Numbers Of The American

RFDTV MEDIA_0002.jpg

When it comes to numbers, RFD-TV’s The American, presented by Dish goes big: hundreds of contestants spread all over a large area of the U.S., Canada, and even Brazil, and the biggest one-day payout in rodeo.

The American: Stories Of David vs Goliath

RFDTV MEDIA_1198.jpg

RFD-TV’s The American, presented by Dish is a unique event because it brings together matchups that you would never get to see within just any rodeo circuit. All are welcome at the world’s richest one-day rodeo where legends, current champions, unknowns, and up-and-comers from many different associations and avenues meet to see who will walk away with the multi-millions up for grabs. 

Black Hills Stock Show And Rodeo: Broncs For Breakfast And Burch Horses

Photo by Scootem-N-Shootem Black Hills Stock Show Ranch Rodeo and Bronc Riding

What are you doing for breakfast? Sipping your coffee? Having your bacon and eggs maybe?