News 9 conveniently ignores public health risk of Lazy E Arena holding massive rodeos

Although most concerts, sporting events and entertainment venues have shut down during the pandemic over public safety concerns, Lazy-E Arena in Guthrie has remained open for business, hosting national rodeo events that have brought in visitors to the state from all over the country, and as a result, helped spread the Coronavirus across Oklahoma.

Fortunately for us, Oklahoma’s Own™ News 9 – a locally owned channel that’s always looking out for the safety of its viewers  – was on the scene, and on the story, to report on this public health hazard.

Via News

While many businesses have closed or reduced operations, the Lazy E Arena has become the rodeo capital of the country since the pandemic started.

It’s massive amount of space has made the arena the most attractive venue for competitions.

While businesses are hurting across the country, rodeos have helped Guthrie buck the national trend.

“Some of our restaurants have said they’re going to survive because of the influx of dollars from Lazy E visitors,” said Guthrie Tourism Director Justin Fortney.

Wait. They’re leading with the economic benefit of hosting COVID-19 super-spreader rodeo events? I guess it’s good that Guthrie eateries like Stables Cafe – get the Frito chili pie, trust me – are getting some extra business, and as a result, increasing the likelihood that their employees catch an extra spikey novel coronavirus that’s killed 477 Oklahomans, but what about the public health threat of having people from all across the country congregate in close quarters while being bucked around by horses?

Here’s more:

This week it’s the National High School Finals Rodeo, one of ten events that have been relocated to Lazy E because of coronavirus concerns.

Lazy E estimates the last two events have wrangled $70 million from visitors, the impact of it felt throughout the state as competitors and their families explore Oklahoma after competitions at the arena.

Wait a second. Lazy E is claiming that two rodeo events generated $70-million from visitors? Yeah right. Even Kevin Stitt would fall off his horse if he heard that claim.

To put that blatantly exaggerated number being propagated on TV news into perspective, the Thunder’s economic impact on OKC for the entire 2012 – 2013 season was estimated to be $64-million. You’re telling me that events like the National High School Finals Rodeo and National Little Britches Rodeo Association Finals generate more money than 41 NBA home games? I know rodeos deal in bullshit, but even that’s over the top.

Anyway, I guess we should get to the part where News 9 talks to a health expert about the hazards of having people from all over the country congregate in a town 20 minutes outside OKC to ride angry animals in close quarters during a pandemic. At the very least, News 9 will discuss what health and safety measures Lazy E Arena has implemented to keep patrons safe, and help prevent the virus’ spread:

“For a town like Guthrie that depends on tourism for a lot of revenue, our restaurants and hotels, it’s been great to have some of the Lazy-E folks do some shopping here,” Fortney said.

Fortney said he can’t put an exact number on the economic impact for Guthrie, but step inside a local restaurant, count the cowboy hats, and you get the idea.

“It’s brought a lot of business to us. They keep us here to about 2, I mean right up at 2, working,” said Ailene Siharath.

Really? They’re still ignoring the health risks and playing up the economic impact? I know News 9 is the local news version of Fox News, and is more focused on pushing conservative propaganda from its reporters and helicopter pilots than actual reporting, but they can’t keep that up for the entire piece, right?

The answer to that question is “Yes, they can.”

Siharath owns Katie’s Diner in Guthrie. Like most other businesses, times have been tough, but about two weeks ago, she noticed the rodeos were steering more business her way.

She estimates the rodeo revenue has resulted in an increase of $500 to $600 per day at her restaurant.

“And that’s substantial, because we’re here seven days a week, so if you spread that out across a couple weeks that they’re here, it’s substantial for a small business,” she said.

With Lazy E Arena booked through the rest of the year, business should continue to be booming in Guthrie.

Yeah, and with Lazy E Arena booked through the rest of the year, business won’t be the only thing booming in Guthrie, either.

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35 Responses

  1. This isn’t a big surprise considering the source. Channel 9 has been horrible for years. I thought the Sinclair stations were bad, but this is ridiculous.

    1. They say if an entity (in this cae, a TV station’s news apparatus) isn’t pissing someone off, they aren’t doing their jobs … it just seems like KWTV is doing maybe too good a job of propping up the Trumpies and ignoring everyone else. Damn shame because they actually have some good field reporters (okay, just Storme Jones) and meteorologists on staff.

      Before long if we see Kelly and Amanda wearing pretty pink hanboks* and fake-smiling to the point they’re *on* something, it will be long past time for intervention.

      * You could go look it up yourself, but a hanbok, or joseon-ot, is traditional Korean dress associated with Ri-Chun Hee, the longtime face of North Korean propaganda.

      1. The Trumpies don’t want covid either.

        1. I’d have to say they have one Hell of a way of proving that statement.

  2. LAZY E ARENA SPOKESPERSON: Yes, our next Mega E-vent will bring 20,000 spectators and 500 participants from across this here land o’ our-n, and by my cipherin’ that I done over a period of several hours with this here calculatin’ DEvice, that’ll generate revenues into the trillions o’ dollars!!!! YEEEEEEEE-HAW! Why, that’s enough money to fund the Oklahoma ‘Publican Party fur the next six or seven years! On a final note, let me just say any Communist caught tryin’ to wear a mask to our events will be shot dead like the bank robber he prob’ly is.

    Now, pass the Rocky Mountain Oysters, would ya? DEEEE-licious! (You gonna eat them onion rings? Can I have ’em, then?)

  3. It’s a scientific fact cow and horse dung repels everything from Covid-19 to women.

    1. Au contraire.

      That’s probably true for city women, but I have seen some luscious babes in tight Levis and cowgirl boots hanging on the arms of cowboy-hatted shit-kickin’ rodeo riders with flies buzzing around their boots.

      1. Needs moar Shit-Kickin.

  4. I used to write for the local paper in Guthrie. While I’m appreciative of my time at the paper to help out with my start in journalism, I’ve never been happier to live outside of Guthrie in my life. This was a bad reminder of why.

  5. Looks like the rodeo clowns are running channel 9.

    1. That’s a darn shame.

      Channel 9’s sister station (Channel 6 in Tulsa) seems pretty middle-of the road to a left-wing liberal like me. The other Tulsa stations (Sinclair’s 8 and Scripps’ 2) are conservative as hell.

      Can’t say about Tulsa’s Fox 23. It was bought out recently by some venture capital firm in NYC, and I never watched its news anyway. I’m not optimistic for it.

      In addition to 6 and 9, Griffin also owns some Tulsa radio stations, including the notorious right-wing talk radio station KFAQ. It beams southwest on 50,000 watts, so you can probably hear it in OKC (at 1170 AM) if you have a strong stomach.

      1. How many Ogle Bros. work there?

  6. The “Lazy E Arena”? Seriously?

    Please forgive the ignorance of this Easterner unfamiliar with Guthrie, but isn’t that logo the same one that the megascammers at Enron made famous?

    Additionally, isn’t that logo almost identical to the one attached to the semi-mythical E(vil) Corporation in the Mr. Robot TV series?

    I mean, is that really how you want to “brand” your rodeo while you “buck” the need for social distancing? Is it really worth endangering the lives, health, and safety of your town and of visitors from far and wide in exchange for nothing more than a modest influx of cash. (I don’t believe that bovine excrement about $70 million in economic impact either.)

    The decision is in: it IS worth it! The Lazy E logo is entirely appropriate!

    Patrick, Lazy E is obviously cash-hungry and in need of a sponsor. I’ll bet the arena’s naming rights could be had for cheap. “The Lost Ogle Rodeo Arena” – “Only the finest in bullshit.” I like it – what do you think?

    1. A slight slip of the tongue renders it the Easy Lay Arena. You’d get even less social distancing with that name.

      1. If you were to walk out amongst the trailers this week the above comment definitely applies. There’s a reason they call it the Trail of Trojans

    2. 🙄

    3. Lazy E was around long before Enron or the Evil corporation fyi.

  7. And there are Kelly and Amanda, still sitting close enough to hold hands. I don’t know what the other news sets look like in OKC, much less Tulsa, but the folks in Lawton actually practice social distancing from opposite ends of the desk. And they’ve moved some of their weather reporting to the meteorologists’ homes. Just trying to set an example that might save some lives, I guess.

  8. The Gaylord’s bullshit will never end till the last one has left the planet. Or at least the state!!

    1. True, although the partnership between News 9 and The Oklahoman came to an end many, many years ago.

      1. Although EK Gaylord II was the original owner of the Lazy E, I thought he sold out within the last 10 years, or so.

        1. OH! Never mind!

  9. Guthrie has a tourism director?

  10. Outside of unfortunate collateral deaths of innocents I don’t see the downside of stupid killing themselves.

  11. quote:
    It’s massive amount of space has made the arena the most attractive venue for competitions.


    Jesus frickin Christ in the cornfield. That’s what you get when you let 19 year olds do your proofreading for you. Or should I say year old’s.

    1. They have a proofreader? Really?

  12. AND, as if they needed to cement their allegiance with the far right — its bigotry included — Channel 9 signed off its Friday 5 p.m. newscast with Amanda leaving us with “a look at McLoud,” from the air, which featured the baseball diamond and the McLoud water tower prominently in the right bottom corner proclaiming McLoud Redskins. Deliberate choice all the way through the system to promote hatred and divisiveness.

    1. Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie & Chevrolet. There’s a bunch of people voting Red and holding on to a thin veneer of what’s left of what they think the world should be like. They’re looking at the caboose as the train leaves the station. Channel 9 like other “news” outlets are trying to hold on to that audience because it’s the only one they have left.

      1. Let’s see. Baseball is my favorite sport. I like hot dogs and apple pie. The only car I tell stories about is my ’66 Impala SS (only a 327, but could fly on the top end). Still, I tell people, I remember the fifties and early sixties. They weren’t so hot the first time around. And, I gave you a thumbs up for insight.

  13. The county paid for the road to that private enterprise years ago. Because the Gaylords couldn’t afford it.
    Reminds me of one evening in a backyard years ago listening to a certain Okie couple who had made a couple hundred million dollars selling craft crap. They were complaining how Colorado wouldn’t give their child free tuition at the U. of Co., even though they had brought so many jobs to the state. Because they couldn’t afford it either, apparently.

    1. The Gaylords could afford it, but of course why pay for it when somebody else will?

  14. Kelly Ogle illegally obtained my phone number from the school where our kids went. He called me up to complain about a fundraiser that I wouldn’t agree to take part in. He mentioned how underfunded the poor schools were, boo boo. Now lower them property taxes, and run off smart folks, then make your kids work for free out of desperation and fear. Taxes need to stay low, and teachers are over paid babysitters, Kelly told me, I think, it was fifteen or so years ago.

  15. Having interviewed, in my mind, many a rodeo cowboy or cowgirl it is with out any doubt that all of them desire to drive their 150K 1 ton diesel dually pickup, and aluminum fancy horse trailer down to Falls Creek after they leave Guthrie in hopes of seeing Senator Lankford on his month off then turn around and drive back to Nebraska so as to get back to work at the ranch.
    If one just thought about it pretty much anyone pulling a 30′ horse trailer usually thinks like someone running a semi and a 53′ van trailer. Or, get me on the Interstate and the Hell out of here with the least driving hassle possible.
    Unless the back of those horse trailers are filled with 1/4 ozs of locally grown pot to haul back to Rapid City I just don’t see their numbers adding up? Tossing in a few dozen COVIDS along the way and any profit is gone. Actually makes that Frito Pie damned expensive. Ask Kevin Stitt.

  16. Channel 9 goes out of their way to downplay this pandemic. Won’t watch them anymore.

  17. There were no crowds, and no tickets were sold. I’m pretty sure the social distancing was better than at the beloved protests. But let the hate flow, even though you have no idea what you’re talking about.

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