Osceola County loses bid for rodeo championship

Event will stay in Las Vegas despite $16 million offer

By John Ambrogne - Executive Producer
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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Osceola County leaders found out Friday they lost out on a bid to bring a national rodeo championship to Central Florida.

County commissioners had pledged $16 million dollars and planned to build a new arena in hopes of luring the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to the county.

The rodeo has been held in Las Vegas for the past 27 years. Rodeo officials announced Friday they had reached a new 10-year deal to keep the event in Las Vegas.

"Of course it is disappointing but our efforts to attract the ‘Super Bowl' of Rodeo to Osceola County really brought together all our partners – and it was not just an Osceola County endeavor," Commission Chairman Fred Hawkins Jr. said. "The region, particularly Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, really made this a team effort."

The rodeo brings in an estimated $80 million dollars in revenue to Las Vegas every year. Supporters were hoping bringing the event to Central Florida would lead to a big economic boost.

For now, plans for the new arena in Osceola County are still moving forward.

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