Rodeo figures revealed

Xavier Smith • Updated Oct 11, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The Wilson County Ag Management Committee discussed the revenue and expenses of the National Junior High Finals Rodeo last week after one commissioner called for a probe into the finances. 

Commissioner Frank Bush sponsored, and later pulled, a resolution last month that requested the finance department to provide a complete financial analysis of the cash flow of the rodeo. 

The committee highlighted the benefits and revenue from the rodeo last week with a slideshow presentation. The group highlighted several benefits of the rodeo, including national recognition, future possibilities, community involvement and more. 

Austin White, National High School Rodeo Association marketing vice president, said the association pumped back about $141,550 into the local economy through advertising, Home Depot, Walmart, arena labor, disc jockey, Custom Metal, food purchases, doughnuts, Absolute Rental, Signs Now, Nashville Shores, ice, RV rentals, hotel rooms, Nashville Airport, office supplies and golf cart gas.

The group said the county’s economy also received more than $220,000 in direct cash revenues for rodeo facility rental, 200 stalls, 12 food vendors, 60 trade show vendors, 200 gallons of diesel, 4,500 bags of wood shavings, single-sale shavings, ice sales, posters, honey wagon, ticket sales, T-shirt sales and rodeo bull sales. 

The group also highlighted the expenses associated with the rodeo, including $94,935 that will re-occur in 2017 and $32,913 for other expenses. The opening of the Wilson County Expo Center will also keep the county from spending $142,407 to keep an exposition tent cool during the event. 

According to the group, TGS Stall Services, which was in charge of the temporary stalls for 16 days, contributed about $10,000 to the local economy through ice, water, Gatorade, light bulbs, meals and hotels. 

The group also highlighted $75,756 for the two-year contract, which does not include utilities. 

The county saw a $214,589 increase in sales tax revenue in June 2016 from June 2015, but the committee acknowledged the rodeo was not responsible for that entire increase, noting it would be impossible to determine how much was directly attributable to the rodeo. 

Infrastructure improvements made to the Ag Center came to a price tag of $384,234.

In January, the commission approved to reallocate $250,000 from within the Ag Center’s budget to help with upgrades and rentals needed for the event. 

Wilson County Ag Committee chairman Jeff Joines said the county would receive some of the $250,000 back through purchases at the rodeo. According to the resolution, $110,000 would be reimbursed by the rodeo and projected sales of $4,000 would be returned to the center’s fund balance.

Ag Center director Larry Tomlinson said the $384,234 used for infrastructure improvements would continue to help the center attract desirable events, such as major cattle shows, music festivals and more. 

“The infrastructure improvements, including the new livestock barn, additional campsites, electrical updates and 100 box stalls made to the James E. Ward Agricultural Center, showcases the ever-growing grounds as a premier event venue for the county,” Tomlinson said.

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