The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association board voted 6-3 Sunday to turn down Sin City's offer in favor of an agreement with Florida's Osceola County, south of Orlando.
Osceola County commissioners voted 5-0 Sunday to accept a memorandum of understanding that allows 90 days to close the deal. The plan calls for the 2015 event to be held at the nearby Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic; county officials vowed to have a new, 24,000-seat arena ready for the event by the fall of 2016.
The deal also would include $16 million annually for the rodeo association's prize money and administrative costs, as well as revenue sharing.
"I say we've put together the best incentive package for the PRCA," said Osceola County Commission Chairman Fred Hawkins Jr., who added that he's not ruling out other contender cities just yet. "We have all the venues here to do exactly what the NFR does in Vegas."
The 300,000-person county, home to a rodeo once considered the largest east of the Mississippi, offered about $4 million more than Las Vegas.
"Adding an additional $4 million to the budget would require a 40 percent increase in ticket prices," Mack said. "That is not sustainable. We have to balance the demands of the PRCA with the consequence of pricing our fans out of the market."
The National Finals Rodeo has been an economic boon for Las Vegas, drawing almost 53,000 out-of-town visitors in 2012, according to figures compiled by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau. That was up from about 45,000 in 2011.
More than 175,000 tickets were sold in 2012 for 10-day event at the Thomas & Mack Center, and the overall economic impact on hotel rooms, restaurants and other expenses was estimated at nearly $93 million, authority spokeswoman Dawn Christensen said.
Figures for the 2013 event, which ended Saturday, weren't immediately available.