Elks, rustle up ESPN!

January 29, 2001 12:00 am

Theres a voice that graces commercials for tractor pulls and pro wrestling events, pumped up on reverb and shouting about how ...

A TICKET GETS YOU A WHOLE SEAT BUT YOULL ONLY NEED THE EDGE!!!

Its the voice of Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Its the voice of hype.

Its a voice the Elks Blowout Bull and Bronc Riding doesnt need but most definitely deserves.

Over the six years that the event has been a part of the Miners Jubilee weekend, the purse has grown to last years $14,500 in the broncs and $20,000 in the bulls handsome pay for eight seconds work.

Its an event that brings past winners back to defend their titles and try for their piece of this years action.

Its an event that packs the Baker County Fairgrounds.

And now its an event that its enterprising organizers hope will interest a regional or national television audience.

The Baker City Council agreed Tuesday to reimburse the Elks Lodge for up to $1,500 in travel related expenses. The money will come from the citys motel room tax.

Organizer Ken McPheron and others hope to meet with representatives of ESPN and FoxTV to pitch the blowout as a potential televised sporting event.

We hope programmers from either station will see the value in taking an interest in an event like the blowout.

That may require spending further motel tax dollars to bring them here.

If so, it would probably be a wise investment.

McPheron and the Elks have built up a high quality event, with rich purses, great attendance and first-rate livestock.

The events themselves, which challenge cowboys to hang on to a bucking bull or horse for eight seconds, are incredibly television friendly and action-packed. Edited for a TV audience, the action could continue uninterrupted for hours.

But it is in the interruptions commercial breaks that Baker City will see its motel tax expenditures paid back tenfold.

Imagine a camera shot of downtown, or the Elkhorns, or even a shot from atop the fairgrounds grandstand towards Geiser Pollman Park ground zero for much of the excitement of Miners Jubilee.

Such a shot and a few kind words from an announcer would brand Baker City with both a Western flavor and a lively spirit in the minds of inumerable television viewers.

And that is exposure money just cant buy.