COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - After nearly nine years at the helm of the PRCA, Commissioner Karl Stressman has announced that he will be retiring, effective Dec. 31, 2017.
Under his leadership, the organization signed a record $175 million contract that keeps the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas through the year 2024.
Stressman also played a major role in negotiating a television broadcast agreement with CBS Sports Network through 2019; successfully protecting the organization's rights to provide equal opportunity to all association members; and accepting fiduciary responsibility for generating substantial cash reserves for the organization, while returning nearly 90 percent of all income generated to benefit members and membership services.
"I sat down in the Commissioner's chair for the first time in September 2008, and I made a promise to myself that I would give my very best efforts each and every day to improve the sport of Professional Rodeo," Stressman said. "I made myself another promise that I would stay at the PRCA as long as I enjoyed the job. Well, it's time to say goodbye! I will be retiring at the end of 2017, after completing my 10th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo as Commissioner of the PRCA."
Even as he plans his departure, Stressman has put into place a future path that will allow for the PRCA's top rodeos to gain even more prominence, and for the PRCA membership to profit as the organization enters into new digital content opportunities. Commissioner Stressman's iconic leadership tenure stands as a landmark for professional rodeo and the entire western industry.
"It has been an amazing run, but certainly not without a few battle scars," he said. "It has been my privilege to have had the opportunity to serve the members, our committees, our great sponsors and the best fans in the sporting world. I thank you all for the opportunity! Long Live Cowboys!"