Today, State Representative Cecil Bell, Jr. held a press conference to announce his filing of House Bill 1440, relating to adding the Elite Rodeo Association World Championship to the list of eligible events under the Major Events Trust Fund (METF). The Elite Rodeo Association (ERA), which is a contestant owned and operated organization, showcases the top professional rodeo participants from around the world.

The Major Events Trust Fund allows Texas cities or counties to compete with one another for headline events. The METF applies local and state gains from sales and use, auto rental, hotel and alcoholic beverage taxes generated over a twelve month period from certain major sporting championships or events to pay costs incurred from hosting the event. The Texas Comptroller works with the city or county to establish the amount on incremental tax gains resulting from the event, which is the basis of expense payment. The METF can also be used to pay costs related to preparing for or conducting the event, including equipment, or to pay principal and interest on notes used to build or improve facilities. Other events include Formula 1, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the National Cutting Horse Association Triple Crown.

Beginning in 2016, the ERA will commit to a minimum of five world championships. Each championship is estimated to bring in approximately $102 million in revenue a year from transportation, lodging, and food and beverage to the host city and state.

“Texas and professional rodeo go hand in hand. Adding the ERA World Championship to the Major Events Trust Fund ensures that Dallas and other Texas cities have the competitive opportunity to assure that Texas is its home,” said Rep. Bell.

Joint authors to H.B. 1440 are Representative Eric Johnson, vice chair of the Economic & Small Business Development Committee; Representative Jason Villalba, member of the Economic & Small Business Development Committee; and Representative Morgan Meyer, a Dallas delegate. Senator Royce West is expected to file the companion bill in the coming days.

Joining Representative Bell at the press conference were site selection committee chairman and President of the Elite Rodeo Association Tony Garritano and several cowgirls and cowboys. Charmayne James, 11-time World Champion and all-time leading money earner in the sport, and Trevor Brazile, 21-time World Championship participant and 11-time All-Around World Champion Cowboy were among those included. H.B. 1440 also has the full support of the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association.