Rodeo stays afloat financially, despite lower turnout

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

The Sweet Home Rodeo Committee reports that it has broken even despite off-and-on rainfall over Sportsman’s Holiday weekend.

“We did OK,” rodeo President Dick Coffin said. “We thought we were going to really be hurting, but we pulled it out.”

The rodeo, which takes place Friday through Sunday the second weekend of July each year, costs approximately $28,000 to produce.

Between attendance of 1,000 and its sponsors, the rodeo broke even, Coffin said, “just barely. We didn’t make a dollar, but we didn’t owe a dollar.”

Attendance was down by roughly 1,500 this year, Coffin said. “We can’t control the weather. We did everything else right, but the weather kind of caught us off guard.”

Visitors said “it was a great rodeo,” Coffin said. “They wished the weather would have been better.”

The stock contractor, B-bar-D, loves coming to the Sweet Home Rodeo, Coffin said. B-bar-D goes to a number of rodeos “where they have to park on gravel and pavement.” Sweet Home offers a grassy site for camping, and it reminds the contractor of a campground.

For the roughstock and the timed events, Coffin said, the rain didn’t present a problem. The cowboys liked the arena this year. The barrel racers didn’t care for the slick ground.

“It’s a lot better than some that get rained on,” Coffin said. “Saturday night, the arena was perfect.”

Rain on Sunday made the arena slick, Coffin said.

Many committee members are busy with the Linn County Fair this week, Coffin said, so the committee will meet next week to begin working on the 2006 event.

“I want to give a big thank you to all our sponsors and all our volunteers,” Coffin said. “It takes a lot of people to put this rodeo on every year. Without those volunteers and sponsors, there’s no way we could pull this off.”