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Pro Rodeo Coming
to Knoxville!

South Knox Bubba's Classic 
K2K April Fools Troll

Here's the text of the original K2K troll:

This is big. There is an official announcement scheduled for some time next week after a couple of more details are worked out, but...

A wealthy Nashville businessman in affiliation with the Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Association (PRCA) and Jack Daniel Distillery is finalizing a deal to build a world class rodeo arena and rodeo/cowboy destination attraction in downtown Knoxville.

A large tract of land on Riverside drive near the Dempster's Machine Shop will be the site of the $43 Million attraction. It will feature the largest rodeo arena east of the Rockies, designed to accommodate major rodeo events with seating for 25,000 rodeo fans. It will be a scheduled stop for the worlds biggest rodeo events such as the Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour, the Dodge National Circuit Rodeo.

In addition, it will be a year-round destination attraction featuring the ProRodeo Hall of Fame East, a rodeo/cowboy museum and hall of fame where fans can learn about the history of rodeo through exhibits and lectures and meet their favorite rodeo cowboys during events. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame East will an extension of the main ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado, and will share moving exhibits and speakers. Additional plans call for a pedestrian walkway linking the attraction to the new Downtown Marriot (formerly Hyatt) and Riverwalk.

According to inside sources, the PRCA has long wanted to establish a more visible rodeo presence in the East and the South, and has long believed Knoxville to be ideally located due to its centralized location, access to two major interstated, nearby theme attractions, and availability of cheap, undeveloped land on a riverfront setting near downtown, not to mention the City's willingness to assist with funding the project.

The wealthy Nashville business man involved in the project (who wishes to remain anonymous until the formal announcement), was previously involved in the bid to bring the Titans to Nashville but was out hustled by the current Titans ownership, who had closer political ties in the Nashville city government. He is planning to retire from his day to day business activitie soon, and has always been interested in rodeos and cowboys since his youth. He is spearheading this project as a tribute to rodeo cowboys and to provide an enjoyable but hopefully profitable hobby in his retirement years.

This is going to be big. Just remember you heard it here first!

The follow-up "leaked" Press Release:

A buddy at Metro Pulse sent me this. He got it in his e-mail when some marketing suit at this rodeo outfit accidentally sent out this press release a week early. I think someone at KNS also got it.

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*** DRAFT - INTERNAL USE ONLY UNTIL RELEASE DATE ***

SLUG: Affiliated Professional Rodeo Investors Linked For Opportunity On Lakeside Setting In Knoxville.

April 8, 2002, Colorado Springs CO, for Immediate Release: Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association president Bill King today announced a significant expansion of the PRCA circuit and revealed plans for a major rodeo arena and theme attraction in Knoxville, Tennessee. The $43 Million arena, dubbed "Jack Daniels Riverfront Roundup" is designed to host world-class rodeo events and will house the ProRodeo Hall of Fame East.

The venture will be PRCA's first entry into developing and managing its own rodeo arena properties in partnership with private investors. Based on the success of the Knoxville project, additional PRCA arenas are planned throughout the U.S. and Canada.

An investor group, headed by Nashville Tennessee business man ****** ******, who was involved early on in a bid to bring NFL football to Nashville, has purchased a large tract of riverside property in downtown Knoxville, and has secured commitments of bond issues and tax abatements to help fund development of the project. Jack Daniel Distillery, a major rodeo sponsor, is also involved in the project.

According to Bill King, "For some time the PRCA has wanted to expand the presence of professional rodeo in the Eastern and Southern U.S. regions. Knoxville is a natural fit, with it beautiful scenery, ease of access, and nearby built-in attractions that appeal to the PRCA rodeo demographic. With the involvement of Mr. *********, our dreams are finally becoming reality. We think this will be a win-win for the PRCA and the City of Knoxville, and appreciate Mayor Victor Ashe's diligent efforts to help us put this deal together quickly and quietly."

The arena will seat 25,000 rodeo fans, enough to accommodate world-class touring rodeo events and championships such as the Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour and the Dodge National Circuit Rodeo. The destination rodeo theme attraction will also be the future home of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame East, an extension of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Tennessee facility will feature exhibits and activities highlighting rodeo, cowboys, and their place in American history, and will host art exhibits by Western greats such as Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell.

Contact:

Becky Paloma, VP Communications, PRCA National Headquarters, 101 ProRodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919

###

Some K2K reaction:

"This is not good news. This is bad news."

"This story keeps getting better and better . . . does this sound like good public policy? Mayor Ashe, if this is true, I DON'T appreciate your efforts to put this "deal" together quickly and quietly. Back door politics."

"It sounds like a big operation. If it hold 25,000 people and you divide that by 4 for parking spaces, it will need 6,250 parking spaces. Plus parking for the workers, performers, support peoples, (any semi-trucks? ). Can Riverside Dive and the other related streets handle such traffic? May the city use the new parking garage for free downtown parking with shuttle service? I hope the wealthy business man make good profit on his hobby. What happens if it is not profitable? What will be its successor?"

"Can't you have the rodeos at the coliseum or at Neyland stadium? This town is going to be crazy on Saturdays when a football game, a convention, a coliseum event and a rodeo are all going on at the same time....And lastly, how will the loud speakers effect the tranquillity of near by residents (psst, even Island Home)."

"Planetariums and rodeos...... What do the chamber and the city have against a nice (potentially cultured and classy) city near the Smokies? Does everything have to be littered with tourist glitter and cheese? "

"Jeez, why don't you change your screen name to Imasnob?"

"In retrospect, this was a poorly written post. What I meant to say is that the folks who like rodeos or planetariums or anything else are not of any lower "class" than anyone else. It's why Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors... not everyone likes the same thing."

"The only meaning I received from [the other person's post] was the idea that Knoxville could be quite complete and classy without a big tourist attraction. I detected no snobbery or any implication that folks that attend rodeos and planetariums are "low class". Is it possible that the fact that PBA benefits from being involved in large projects colors your perceptions?

"The rodeo might not be such a bad thing. It would likely attract the type of tourists that are inhabiting Sevier County. That would give us a better shot at becoming the sort of tourist destination we crave. Really, since Knoxville doesn't know what it wants to be why not give in and go with they want to give us-horseshit or another Dixie Stampede."

"Many folks see rodeo as an inhumane 'sport' much like hunting. I'm not against economic development, just against animal cruelty."

"Uh...guys...before we get into a pissin' match as to whether this rodeo thing is a potential bonanza or just more tourist bullshit or debate the merits of the SPCA vs the USDA stop and ponder another ramification of this proposal (be it real, bogus or otherwise). The "Dempster Property on the riverfront" referred to is smack-dab in the middle of the Old Sevier neighborhood. Home to, among other things, several K2K subscribers - [some person], [another person] and [that person]  ([this person's] property on [that street], I believe, backs up to the Dempster property...) While I don't profess to know what prompted [the other person's] comment that this proposal is a "disaster" I'd say that from the perspective of Old Sevier remaining a residential neighborhood her assessment is pretty much correct."

"Wait, wait. The original post said Riverside Drive. That's on the north side of the river adjacent to the new bridge. The property behind [that person] used to be owned by Texaco. I don't know where the Dempster machine shop used to be. More info appreciated."

"It would be stupid to put tourist traps over here. Knoxville need residents and businesses (high paying and long term to stabilize) I don't like harm being done to animals either. Besides Knoxville is more MONSTER TRUCK mentality/UT games and what can one get for free."

(In response to another poster who asked the first poster why this is such bad news): because there is a neighborhood ABOVE the location indicated that would likely be negatively affected by the noise. because current access roads (mostly new) do not appear to me to have been designed to facilitate the arrival or departure of 20 - 70 thousand folks on a regular basis. because knoxpatch has neither a serious history with rodeo nor any apparent serious affinity for rodeo so the locals (especially in that area) will likely know damn near nothing about the events or static displays. it makes as much sense as a museum of the settling of the upper peninsula of michigan or perhaps one dedicated to the lifestyle of the Hopi Indians, worthy concepts perhaps but, with little or no connection to this area. However (comma) if someone is willing to do this with their own money, and they are willing to work in good faith to insure that the neighborhood and/or the environment is not damaged, then what the hell, tell the good luck and get back to work. 

"Or how about the fact that this rumor states that we are all pitching in money on this venture although we have never heard of it"

"Re: This is going to be big. Just remember you heard it here first! - You also heard it on April Fool's Day."

(More chumming by SKB:) "No, this is legit. You can check it out yourself here [some stupid link to the PRCA official website]. Go to the "Ed Knocke (Dallas Morning News)" link and read the "PRCA Expansion Rumors Persist" item. Nothing specific, but this is what he's talking about."

"Well, sucker that I am, I tried to follow the link, but gave up--no Knocke columns to be found, tho I did find the reference to Knocke. Anyway, rodeo and Knoxville would seem to be a perfect fit. Bulldogging is appropriate for a city whose mayor styles himself as a bulldog. And we have lots of horses' asses and tons of bullshit and horseshit. Plus the cowboys and clowns. And we've all been roped and throwed many a time. Not to mention saddled with you name it. Still and all, I'm ready to ride! Yippe Ty Yi Yo!

"Not another **!@** word about the so-called rodeo unless or until somebody confirms that this story has a single grain of truth to it! Geez, you guys sure can spend a lot of time getting worked up about a rumor that most likely is an April Fool's joke." 

"The time-honored procedure for April Fools jokes is that you 'fes up on April 2nd and laugh at all the folks who fell for it. Enough already."

The Aftermath:

South Knox Bubba in the News...

"They really should have been wary. It was, after all, the first day of April. But still a bunch of k2kers were ticked off over an announcement titled "Big time Pro Rodeo coming to Knoxville!"

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