Two competing rodeos to battle for Edmontonian's dollars

It's like a showdown from a classic cowboy movie. A dust-up at the old corral, or the new one depending on your preference.

Just before high noon on Thursday, Northlands announced this year's Canadian Finals Rodeo at the Coliseum will be held on the same November weekend as in previous years.

It seems Northlands will not be bullied by the Professional Bull Riders Global Cup set to take place at Rogers Place on the same weekend.

'Real Cowboys. Real Rodeo. Real Fans.'

Northlands used the announcement to take a few shots at the competition.

The headline on the press release is "Real Cowboys. Real Rodeo. Real Fans."

"We think the two of them are a bit of a different product," said Northlands CEO Tim Reid. "CFR is traditional rodeo and I think PBR is a more made-for-TV product and perhaps more urban audience than we see."

According to Reid, the dates couldn't be changed because CFR is connected to Farm Fair. Plus, he says the two rodeos target different markets.

"When we looked at the risk around this we certainly see the concrete cowboy — for lack of a better term — as the person that will probably go to a downtown Ice District event," said Reid.

"We target the rural market. We're really about bringing Western Canada and agriculture back to people as well as communities."

'We may lose some customers because of this'

Reid says he believes both events can do well.

"We may lose some customers because of this," said Reid.

"But ultimately I think if we can align a made-for-TV, perhaps traditional, downtown entertainment rodeo in PBR from one marketplace, and we can focus on the western culture side around ours, we may have a great win on both sides of this equation."

And he's not ruling out having the two work together to create a bigger event in the future.

"This is the foundation of what could be a great 10- or seven-day western festival if we could find the right path," said Reid.

"My hope is that as we work towards 2018, maybe we can find a better way because with PBR, CFR and Farm Fair, I think we actually have a great foundation to do something special in Edmonton that impacts the globe." 

In a previous interview with CBC, PBR CEO Sean Gleason wasn't too concerned about Edmonton hosting both events.

"We are not competitors with rodeo — our roots are in rodeo. Our founders of the PBR were the best bull riders in the world and competed in rodeo," he said.

Gleason adds that whether you choose the CFR or the PBR, they're just hoping to introduce more people to western sports.

"Our job and mission is really to bring entertainment not just to the western lifestyle consumer, but bring a new consumer to the table," he said.