CNFR close to staying in Casper through 2027

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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Casper City Council members and Natrona County Commissioners approved a proposed contract Tuesday to keep the College National Finals Rodeo at the Casper Events Center through 2027.

The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association still has to sign off on the agreement.

“Casper, Natrona County only has one major large event on a national level each year and right now that is the College National Finals Rodeo,” Casper Events Center General Manager Brad Murphy said. “The economic impact of that event is huge to our city, huge to our county, huge to our community.”

He said the total annual economic impact from CNFR is between $3.5 and $4 million.

“It means a lot ot the downtown community because of all the people it brings in to the downtown community because of all the people that it brings in to eat at restaurants and to get out and shop at stores and spend money in our community,” Downtown Casper Businesses Association Co-President Kyleen Stevenson-Braxton said.

With the event likely to call Casper home for at least another seven years, the city will continue to be a destination for the nation's best college cowboys and cowgirls.

“It has a home and it has a base and that’s what all the cowboys and all the cowgirls talk about is they don’t come to the CNFR, they come to Casper,” Murphy said. “And that’s what’s so neat about this experience for all of us it is about a destination and that destination is Casper, Wyoming.”

He said June is one of the months in which the Events Center is profitable.

Under the proposed deal, both the City of Casper and Natrona County would pay NIRA $22,000 in sponsorship fees. The payment would increase by $2,000 each year through the life of the contract. They currently pay NIRA $20,000 annually.