Southeastern Livestock Exposition and Rodeo staying in Montgomery, for now

Montgomery, Ala. (WSFA) -- It's a Montgomery tradition each Spring, the Southeastern Livestock Exposition and Rodeo.  But now, questions about whether the rodeo may pull up stakes from it's home and Garrett coliseum and look for greener pastures somewhere else.

The rodeo's executive committee voted on Friday to stay one more year, but wouldn't guarantee anything past then.  The problem is the 58 year old Garrett coliseum.

"The coliseum as a structure is sound and solid," said committee member Billy Powell.  "They poured enough concrete in that thing and it is a wonderful rodeo venue 8,500 seats; but, we're just limited on doing anything around it."

Expansion and Renovation are what they need and even though it's been talked about for years nothing's been done.

"We've been a little bit of a catch 22 in that this is in Montgomery but it's a state owned facility," said Powell.  "So, we would go to the legislators and somebody, senator so and so from north Alabama would be chairman of the Ways and Means committee and says that's a Montgomery problem."

On the other hand, local leaders say they can't do much without leadership from the state.

The executive committee also checked out moving to other cities, but couldn't find anything with a rodeo facility as well as exhibition area for young folks' livestock.   While attendance is up for the exhibitions, it's going down for the rodeo.

While the rodeo says its not losing money, it's making fewer and fewer dollars each year, and for it to stay in Montgomery it's going to need more room to expand.

When asked what their plans are for the 2011 rodeo, the members say they'll have to wait and see what happens here in 2010.