Casper City Council members discuss potential CNFR contract extension

Casper City Council members discussed potentially keeping the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in the city for another five years at Tuesday’s work session.

The Casper Events Center currently hosts the event.

The current contract with the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) expires after the 2022 event.

The new contract would keep the event in Casper through 2027.

The city and Natrona County would have to combine to pay NIRA an additional $500 to $2,000 each year in addition to the $20,000 they will pay the organization in 2022.

Council members voted to move forward as other cities could take the event if they don’t complete the extension.

“There are numerous places right now that are vying to get this event and take it away from us and there are cities that could do it,” Casper Mayor Steve Freel, Ward III, said.

He said there were five cities he knew of and listed Las Vegas and Boise, Idaho as possibilities.

Events Center General Manager Brad Murphy said Independence, Mo. and cities in Texas also want to host CNRF.

Though the current contract expires in 2022, an extension must be negotiated prior to Oct. 31, 2021.

The city has hosted the event since 1999.

The 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19.

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