Just like the Chicago Blackhawks have an annual circus trip when the clowns and elephants take over the United Center, the Edmonton Oilers have an annual rodeo trip when the cowboys and bulls take over Rexall Place.
In fact, the Oilers are on their rodeo trip right now, with the Canadian Finals Rodeo running from today until Sunday at Rexall.
But what happens when the Oilers get their new downtown arena in 2015? Theoretically, the rodeo could still be held at the old barn, with hockey and/or concerts in the new building.
The Edmonton Sun posed that question to both the mayor and the Oilers.
Mayor Stephen Mandel: “I would hope the Oilers would continue to have a hiatus and do a little traveling.”
Oilers CEO Pat LaForge: “If the rodeo is across town, I think we’d like to blend hockey with entertainment. There would be no reason we couldn’t blend into it.”
I expect we’ll see more issues like these arise in Edmonton. Two arenas for a city of around a million people is probably one too many arenas.
In the meantime, I have to side with the Oilers on the rodeo issue. Why limit the number of things tourists can do when they visit? Friday night at the rodeo, Saturday night at the hockey game, Sunday back to the rodeo. Sounds like a good weekend to me. Then run to the airport and get on the first plane out of town. No offense, Edmonton. Pretty cold in November.