Self-manufactured rodeo lore would have you believe that rodeo folks are strong, independent, all-American types who rely on nothing but their own strength of character to succeed against all odds. Rodeo announcers will go on with the pitch and fervor of a religious zealot about how the rodeo contestant gets no support other than what he or she earns, and the difficulties rodeo people endure in maintaining Western tradition, culture and history. This hype is backed by propaganda in rodeo programs and on rodeo websites.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is that the very existence of the rodeo world is depends on societal handouts. Some of those handouts come in the form of corporate sponsorships and/or advertising dollars from companies such as Bank of the West, Dodge Trucks, Coca-Cola, Wrangler Jeans, Budweiser Beer, Super 8, etc. These companies want their brand names noticed, and they have very few standards to limit what depths they will sink to in order to accomplish that mission. The rodeo industry takes full advantage of this, and the marketing departments of rodeo associations in large part keep rodeos alive, including very poorly attended events, by maintaining a flow of cash from sponsors.
Rodeo says $3 million handout wasn't enough welfare, they want $4 million more in tax money.
Lancaster Event Center to ask for $4M more to expand for 2020 national rodeo
April 18, 2019
A $2.8 million "surprise" in the build-out to accommodate crowds and campers for a national rodeo event at the Lancaster Event Center next year will require an up to $4 million "leap of faith" grant of lodging tax dollars, center officials said Thursday.
Event Center Managing Director Amy Dickerson told the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners the $3 million grant the board approved in 2016 to host the National High School Finals Rodeo beginning in 2020 won't cover the improvements needed for the weeklong event.
That's even after efforts to drive down construction expenses, she said.
Failing to meet the rodeo's needs could jeopardize the event center's deal to host the 50,000-visitor event, with competitors from more than 40 states, Mexico, Canada and Australia, multiple times over the next decade, Dickerson said.
But several commissioners expressed concerns about the newest request, suggesting the lodging tax funds proposed as an investment for the campground improvements won't be replenished.
APRIL 13, 2019
JEFFERSON CITY • Missouri Gov. Mike Parson wants to invest nearly $5 million in a project that might not have a payback until long after he’s left office.
The Republican governor is calling on lawmakers to set aside money to make upgrades to the 118-year-old Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, with a goal of luring the National High School Rodeo Finals to the facility.
April 12, 2019
The Tourism Department is also asking for $2,500 to fund the Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping and $2,500 to fund the Buddy Hartness Memorial Steer Roping.
Apparently rodeo folks aren't proud enough of their cowgirl heritage to pony up the money themselves for their Cowgirl Museum. Or, is it just that they are only to happy to wait for the free handouts and save their energy for pounding on horses and slamming down calves at their cruelty contests?