It's a done deal.
The Nueces County Junior Livestock Show came to terms with managing firm Global Spectrum on a three-year deal that would allow the youth event to remain at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds and grow into a regional event.
Further details on the deal could not be disclosed, said Kelvin Moore, general manager of the fairgrounds, citing confidentiality reasons. But the agreement is something that will benefit the livestock show, he added.
"I respect the livestock show board and their history," Moore said. "For that reason, I wanted to have a deal in place that's beneficial to them."
Ken Griffin, president of the livestock show, met with county commissioners at a Sept. 5 meeting to ask for a rent deal that would allow the livestock show to pay $10,000 in rental costs this year, up from $6,000 that was paid in January, as well as a five-year contract. Before moving to the fairgrounds, the livestock show only paid $1,000 in rental costs, county officials said.
During the Sept. 5 meeting, commissioners turned negotiations over to Global Spectrum, which, at the time, was seeking $20,000 in order for the livestock show to use the fairgrounds' facilities for two weeks in January 2008. But Moore had suggested the livestock show use concession sales, specifically the sale of alcohol, to help offset the rental costs, which the board opposed.
That money would go towards helping the livestock show, but Moore said some people might not see it that way.
"There is a misconception that any money that we make goes to Global Spectrum and that's not the case," he said. "Any money that is made goes directly to the county."
The new deal will allow the sale of alcohol, but only during the kick-off weekend events, like the Alumni Barbecue, Moore said, which will take place three to four days before students arrive with their projects.
"We understand that this is focused on the youth and we respect their decision to not sell alcohol during (youth) events," Moore said. "I think the folks who have an issue with it should have a little faith in their board."
The livestock show board unanimously voted to approve the deal with Global Spectrum, which Griffin said will only help the show grow into the county fair-type of event being envisioned by those involved. There are currently plans to add two live concerts to the kick-off weekend, in addition to a team roping event to be held at the Equestrian Center, he added.
"Those plans haven't been finalized yet, but that is the direction that it is headed," Griffin said.
The Equestrian Center is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in December.
As for the sale of alcohol during kick-off weekend, Griffin said only the idea that alcohol will be sold should be new to attendees, not the presence of it.
"We've had beer there since the inception of the kick-off barbecue," he said.
In addition, Moore said Global Spectrum is taking steps to ensure the safety of all those attending the opening weekend's events. Specifically, no one will be allowed to bring alcohol onto fairgrounds property.
"There will be an appropriate amount of security to monitor alcohol consumption," Moore said.
Griffin agreed and said the board is anxious to continue planning for the show now that getting a new deal is out of the way.
"We all have the same goal, which is to protect our youth and our board fully supported this," Griffin said. "We're ready to move forward."