Sports sponsorship requests totalling $75,000 were approved on Tuesday for the 2021 Canadian Finals Rodeo and for the 2023 Men’s AAA national baseball championship by Red Deer city council.
The two national-level events will be hosted in Red Deer: The 2021 Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) received a requested $50,000, and the 2023 Men’s AAA National Championship received $25,000. This amount was previously approved for a cancelled 2021 championship.
The City of Red Deer will become an exclusive Opening Ceremonies Sponsor of the 47th Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer on Nov. 3 to 7.
In September 2020, council approved a $25,000 sponsorship for the Red Deer Riggers after they were selected to host the 2021 Men’s AAA National Championship; however, the event was cancelled by Baseball Canada due to COVID-19.
The Riggers are now planning to host the tournament in Red Deer in August 2023.
“We are proud to support these two significant, national events in our community,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Events like these continue to highlight Red Deer on the national stage as a premier event hosting location.”
According to the city’s strategic plan, Red Deer is striving to be a chosen destination, attracting events that generate investment and enhance our community identity.
“It is encouraging to see these efforts paying off and the momentum and energy around event tourism in our community building,” Veer said.
Several councillors previously praised the volunteers and organizers for pulling off a highly successful national Pickleball Tournament in Red deer earlier this month. Coun. Lawrence Lee estimated the community gained at least $300,000 in local spending from competitors during those five days.
The funding for the two sponsorship requests comes from previously approved Event Hosting and Outgoing Sponsorship funding. In 2020, council approved $425,000 for sponsorship and event-hosting requests; $325,000 for sponsorships and $100,000 to fulfill and activate sponsorship opportunities.
To date, the funds used from this budget are $30,000 for the Pickleball Canada National Championship in August 2021.
In April, the Red Deer Major Event Strategy and Destination Development Framework vision was approved by council. It sets a goal to see Red Deer as the top major event destination among midsized Canadian cities by 2030, and is designed to strengthen the community’s readiness to attract and host new major events.
Tourism Red Deer and the city are now working on a business plan to further the process.