City extends partnership to host CCA Finals rodeo in Swift Current
The City of Swift Current and the Canadian Cowboys Association (CCA) will continue their partnership to host the Finals rodeo in the city until 2025.
Councillors approved a motion at a regular council meeting on Aug. 26 to approve the contract for another fiveyear period.
There are still two years left on the original agreement between the City, the CCA and the Swift Current Agricultural and Exhibition Association (Ag & Ex), but the CCA already wanted to get the paperwork done for the next five-year period.
“They were the ones that requested that the agreement be extended,” City Chief Administrative Officer Tim Marcus said after the meeting. “They wanted to ensure that they have a home for the long term and not just for two more years. … With the amount of work it would have taken them to move the agreement or to move the event to another place, they just wanted to make sure that they could extend the agreement, and not have to worry about that. So they initiated the request.”
The CCA is not the only party that is happy to keep the event in Swift Current. The City also sees real benefits in having the Finals rodeo at its current location.
“It’s a big event and it’s beneficial to a lot of the businesses in the city, and it’s beneficial to the Cowboys Association that they have a home for the rodeo,” he said.
The CCA Finals is one of the largest rodeo events in Canada with five rodeo performances, a trade show and cabaret.
“It’s very beneficial in that the hotels are full, the restaurants do very well, it’s one of the better weeks for the casino, a lot of the businesses, retail, our sales are up during that time,” Marcus noted.
“So it’s very beneficial for the city and it’s a good event. It’s fun to watch.”
The City is planning to do an economic impact study in the near future to obtain hard data about the economic spinoffs from the event. This year the City will be doing a study on the economic benefits of the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games, and the evaluation of the economic impact of the CCA Finals rodeo will probably be carried out next year.
Some changes have already been made to the current five-year agreement to ensure that all partners benefit from the event. In the original agreement the Ag & Ex received a payout after the other two partners.
“There was an amendment made to it that just ensured that the Ag & Ex was going to receive some funds for their efforts,” he said.
“The earlier agreement, the way it was structured was they could end up for five years volunteering to help run the rodeo and the cabaret and then receive nothing for their efforts, which the CCA and the City realized wasn’t really very fair for one of the partners. So it was amended.”
The three parties made some additional changes to the payout arrangements in the new agreement. The CCA will receive their monies first and thereafter payouts will be made to the Ag & Ex. The City will then receive funds for the use of its facilities.
“In the event that the event wasn’t financially successful, the City would have to reduce the amount it gets for its facilities for that year,” he explained. “The reason that’s there and that the Cowboys are not on the hook, is we don’t want to bankrupt our partners.”
This amendment to provide the first payout to the CCA is based on the financial outcome of the Finals rodeo during the initial three years of the partnership.
“The first year was a breakeven, the second year the revenues were down a bit, then last year they came back up,” Marcus said. “So that was put in the agreement just because in year two the Cowboys Association took a financial hit, and when we looked at everything, we realized that once again if you bankrupt your partner you can’t have an event.”
The only other change in the new agreement adjusts the number of contestants in each rodeo event. There are currently 12 contestants in each event, but the new agreement determines there will be 10 contestants per event and the CCA will have the right to have a maximum of 12 in each event.
There are seven major events (saddle bronc, bareback, tie down roping, steer wrestling, ladies barrel racing, team roping, and bull riding), three novice events (bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding), and two junior events (ladies barrel racing and bull riding).