Calgary might try to lasso the country's largest indoor rodeo event if it gets yanked from long-time host city Edmonton.

The Calgary Sport Tourism Authority is meeting on Thursday with officials from the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA), which runs the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR).

"If it were to leave Edmonton, in my opinion, it would make the most sense for it to remain in the province of Alberta," said Marco De Iaco, executive director of the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority, which is mandated "to provide advice, due diligence and strategic direction in attracting major sport event opportunities to Calgary," it says on its website.

"We think there's some potential to bring some positive benefits to the city at a time when we need it."

Earlier this week, the CPRA and the Oilers Entertainment Group failed to agree on a new contract to keep the event in Edmonton, where it has taken place every November since 1974.

The CPRA is now considering taking bids from other cities.

The rodeo, and the associated Farm Fair, brings an estimated $80 million per year to Edmonton's economy, according to the Edmonton Economic Development Group.

A man who was introduced as "the cowboy's cowboy" at a rodeo event last year says he would be sad to see the marquee Canadian Finals Rodeo leave his home province.

"We put the CFR in a great place", said Scott Schiffner, a two-time CFR bull-riding champion from Strathmore, Alta.


Scott Schiffner of Strathmore, Alta., comes off Afro Man during 2006 bull-riding rodeo action at the Calgary Stampede. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

"Edmonton has been a great place for it, but if it's not going to fit there in the future, we need to put it in front of the best fans we can find in the world to open the doors to more exposure."

Schiffner, is not ready to "jump up and down and say it's going to leave Edmonton," but he said there are financial pressures on the sport that need to be accounted for.

"It looks like a really good deal on paper right now," Schiffner said of the offer that was rejected, "but we have to always look at the future and see if it's the best thing in the end."

Meanwhile, De Iaco says his organization is very interested in exploring the opportunity of landing the event.

But so far the idea is only entering the discussion stage, he said.

"We're nowhere near submitting a bid. Nor have we actually made a decision to submit a bid."

De Iaco says any proposal to host CFR will be put together with the involvement of the Calgary Stampede.

"It's worth investigating simply from a synergy standpoint," he said.

"I would argue that Calgary already is the rodeo capital of the country, but we could certainly add to that moniker."