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.

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