Opinions differ on future uses of McIver Arena | SierraSun.com

Opinions differ on future uses of McIver Arena

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun

The dust at McIver Arena, located in Truckee River Regional Park, has been stirred up due to rising tensions between local organizations.

A recent proposal from Truckee residents to host a Charreada, or Mexican rodeo, at McIver Arena this upcoming summer created some concerns between the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District and the Truckee Donner Horsemen.

The Truckee Donner Horsemen have been leasing the facility from the district for about 30 years, said Steve Randall, district general manager. The Truckee Donner Horsemen pay $4,500 in rent, just a portion of the arena’s $20,000 annual budget for maintenance of the facility, Randall said.

The district has been losing money due to low usage of the arena, Randall said.

Aside from events such as the Truckee Rodeo, Renaissance Faire, the Shriner’s one-day circus, and other horse shows, McIver Arena remains fairly quiet.

The arena is a difficult place to rent and to maintain, Randall said.

“In prior years we tried concerts. Years ago there was a destruction derby. However, it leaves car parts that are dangerous for horses,” Randall said.

According to the contract agreed upon by both groups, the Truckee Donner Horsemen have final say regarding the arena’s calendar of events for the year, Randall said. The arena calendar must be submitted to the district by Feb. 28.

The Mexican rodeo proposal came at the eleventh hour after most of the arena calendar items had already been settled, said Pete Charles, president of the Truckee Donner Horsemen.

Truckee resident Rusty Pauli pitched the Charreada idea to the district and Truckee Donner Horsemen ” as a representative of several business owners in the local Hispanic community who originally came up with the concept, he said.

The event would be a celebration of Charros heritage, with a horsemanship exhibition, dancing, and live music, Pauli said. The Mexican rodeo would be a great way to get the Hispanic community involved in town, he said.

Pauli said the the district expressed interest in the Mexican rodeo idea.

Members of Truckee Donner Horsemen voiced concerns related to the potential economic impacts of taking on too many large events, Charles said.

“Could Truckee support two rodeos?” Charles said. “It costs ‘X’ amount of dollars to put on. Where would the funds come from?”

The Truckee Donner Horsemen’s group doesn’t want to create any competition in getting sponsorship for events, Charles said. Members discussed the possibility of including the Mexican rodeo as part of Western Week, instead of the weekend after the Truckee Rodeo in mid-August, as was proposed by Pauli, he said.

As it stands now, a date has yet to be set for the Mexican rodeo. Pauli said Truckee Donner Horsemen have other events scheduled at the arena from June to September.

Timing is the issue at hand, Charles said.

“Truckee Donner Horsemen want to involve the Hispanic community and we don’t want to close the door on anyone,” Charles said.