Pro Rodeo Coming
This is big. There is an
official announcement scheduled for some time next week after a couple of more
details are worked out, but...
A wealthy Nashville businessman in affiliation with the Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Association (PRCA) and Jack Daniel Distillery is finalizing a deal to build a world class rodeo arena and rodeo/cowoboy destination attraction in downtown Knoxville.
A large tract of land on Riverside drive near the Dempster's Machine Shop will be the site of the $43 Million attraction. It will feature the largest rodeo arena east of the Rockies, designed to accommodate major rodeo events with seating for 25,000 rodeo fans. It will be a scheduled stop for the worlds biggest rodeo events such as the Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour, the Dodge National Circuit Rodeo.
In addition, it will be a year-round destination attraction featuring the ProRodeo Hall of Fame East, a rodeo/cowboy museum and hall of fame where fans can learn about the history of rodeo through exhibits and lectures and meet their favorite rodeo cowboys during events. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame East will an extension of the main ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado, and will share moving exhibits and speakers. Additional plans call for a pedestrian walkway linking the attraction to the new Downtown Marriot (formerly Hyatt) and Riverwalk.
According to inside sources, the PRCA has long wanted to establish a more visible rodeo presence in the East and the South, and has long believed Knoxville to be ideally located due to its centralized location, access to two major interstated, nearby theme attractions, and availability of cheap, undeveloped land on a riverfront setting near downtown, not to mention the City's willingness to assist with funding the project.
The wealthy Nashville business man involved in the project (who wishes to remain anonymous until the formal announcement), was previously involved in the bid to bring the Titans to Nashville but was out hustled by the current Titans ownership, who had closer political ties in the Nashville city government. He is planning to retire from his day to day business activitie soon, and has always been interested in rodeos and cowboys since his youth. He is
spearheading this project as a tribute to rodeo cowboys and to provide an enjoyable but hopefully profitable hobby in his retirement years.
This is going to be big. Just remember you heard it here first!
A buddy at Metropulse sent me this.
He got it in his e-mail when some marketing suit at this rodeo outfit
accidentally sent out this press release a week early. I think someone at KNS
also got it.
*** DRAFT - INTERNAL USE ONLY UNTIL RELEASE DATE ***
SLUG: Affiliated Professional Rodeo Investors Linked For Opportunity On Lakeside Setting In Knoxville.
April 8, 2002, Colorado Springs CO, for Immediate Release: Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association president Bill King today announced a significant expansion of the PRCA circuit and revealed plans for a major rodeo arena and theme attraction in Knoxville,Tennessee. The $43 Million arena, dubbed "Jack Daniels Riverfront Roundup" is designed to host world-class rodeo events and will house the ProRodeo Hall of Fame East.
The venture will be PRCA's first entry into developing and managing its own rodeo arena properties in partnership with private investors.Based on the success of the Knoxville project, additional PRCA arenas are planned throughout the U.S. and Canada.
An investor group, headed by Nashville Tennessee business man ****** ******, who was involved early on in a bid to bring NFL football to Nashville, has purchased a large tract of riverside property in downtown Knoxville, and has secured commitments of bond issues and tax abatements to help fund development of the project. Jack Daniel Distillery, a major rodeo sponsor, is also involved in the project.
According to Bill King, "For some time the PRCA has wanted to expand the presence of professional rodeo in the Eastern and Southern U.S. regions. Knoxville is a natural fit, with it beautiful scenery, ease of access, and nearby built-in attractions that appeal to the PRCA rodeo demographic. With the involvement of Mr. *********, our dreams are finally becoming reality. We think this will be a win-win for the PRCA and the City of Knoxville, and appreciate Mayor Victor Ashe's diligent efforts to help us put this deal together quickly and quietly."
The arena will seat 25,000 rodeo fans, enough to accommodate world-class touring rodeo events and championships such as the Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour and the Dodge National Circuit Rodeo. The destination rodeo theme attraction will also be the future home of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame East, an extension of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Tennessee facility will feature exhibits and activities highlighting rodeo, cowboys, and their place in American history, and will host art exhibits by Western greats such as Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell.
Becky Paloma, VP Communications, PRCA National Headquarters, 101 ProRodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919
"This story keeps getting better and better . . . does this sound like good public policy? Mayor Ashe, if this is true, I DON'T appreciate your efforts to put this "deal" together quickly and quietly. Back door politics."
"It sounds like a big operation. If it hold 25,000 people and you divide that by 4 for parking spaces, it will need 6,250 parking spaces. Plus parking for the workers, performers, support peoples, (any semi-trucks? ). Can Riverside Dive and the other related streets handle such traffic? May the city use the new parking garage for free downtown parking with shuttle service? I hope the wealthy business man make good profit on his hobby. What happens if it is not profitable? What will be its successor?"
"Can't you have the rodeos at the coliseum or at Neyland stadium? This town is going to be crazy on Saturdays when a football game, a convention, a coliseum event and a rodeo are all going on at the same time....And lastly, how will the loud speakers effect the tranquillity of near by residents (psst, even Island Home)."
"Planetariums and rodeos...... What do the chamber and the city have against a nice (potentially cultured and classy) city near the Smokies? Does everything have to be littered with tourist glitter and cheese? "
"Many folks see rodeo as an inhumane 'sport' much like hunting. I'm not against economic development, just against animal cruelty."
"because knoxpatch has neither a serious history with rodeo nor any apparent serious affinity for rodeo so the locals (especially in that area) will likely know damn near nothing about the events or static displays."
"The time-honored procedure for April Fools jokes is that you 'fes up on April 2nd and laugh at all the folks who fell for it. Enough already."
Knox Bubba in the News...
"They really should have been wary. It was, after all, the first day of April. But still a bunch of k2kers were ticked off over an announcement titled "Big time Pro Rodeo coming to Knoxville!"
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