PBR and PRCA premier events moving to Texas due to COVID restrictions
for The Fence Post
What happens in Vegas isn’t staying in Vegas — at least not this year. Two major cowboy organizations the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association are leaving Las Vegas this fall, and relocating their finals to Texas, during this COVID season.
The 2020 PBR World Finals called Unleash The Beast is moving from Las Vegas to Arlington, Texas, and will be held Nov. 12-15 at AT&T Stadium. The spectacular bull riding event, which offers a $1 million Monster Energy World Champion Bonus and a coveted gold buckle to the PBR World Champion and a $300,000 check to the event winner, had originally planned its grand event for T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in early November, but announced the move to Texas Sept. 24 due to state COVID-19 restrictions that created too many challenges.
“Those challenges proved insurmountable in Las Vegas despite our comprehensive, industry-leading plan that has allowed PBR to successfully hold ticketed events safely and without incident for seven event weekends and counting. In short, the governor and state of Nevada are not ready to welcome back responsibly conducted events with fans, and we had no choice but to move PBR World Finals out of Las Vegas and Nevada,” said PBR Commissioner Sean Gleason.
The stadium in Arlington — the largest stadium in the NFL — provides ample room for a socially distanced fan environment. They are still determining the pod seating configuration, but it will be at about 25 percent capacity.
“Fans can come, watch the best bull riding in the world, and feel very comfortable in the very spacious home of the Dallas Cowboys,” Gleason said. “There were other factors in our decision, including our great relationship with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, which has led to tremendous success at AT&T Stadium, where PBR has competed annually for the last 10 years.”
The bull riders are already bucking up to the decision to relocate the PBR World Finals to Texas.
“I’m pumped about it,” Cooper Davis said. “I think it’s awesome. There are just certain stadiums that give off a certain feel that makes you want to up your game.”
“I am excited for the finals,” Jose Vitor Leme said. “World Finals close to home. It’s going to be awesome. Surely Las Vegas is an event that I hope to go to every year, because I always managed to make a good finals there. I had many special moments in that place. Arlington hasn’t brought me anything special in my career yet. I didn’t do so well at The American events and we didn’t win the Global Cup, but maybe this place will become a special place in my career at the end of the season.”
“I love this arena,” Joao Ricardo Vieira said. “I have always felt good inside it. It will be much better than Las Vegas. My success in Arlington has been fantastic.”
“Man, I am so excited and ready for it,” Mason Taylor said. “I have always wanted to ride in Jerry’s world. It’s not even 30 minutes from my house, so saying it’s a home-field advantage is an understatement. It’s my backyard, so what better time for a first appearance than to have the most prestigious bull riding there?”
BACK TO VEGAS
The PBR World Finals intends to move back to Vegas for the World Finals in 2021.
“For the past 26 years, Las Vegas has been home to PBR’s action-packed season finale, and we have looked forward to hosting them as much as they have been eager to come to Vegas,” said Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming PBR fans back to Las Vegas in Spring 2021 for more exciting bull riding action.” That’s because the next PBR Global Cup, a five-nation, team-formatted event, which was to be held at AT&T Stadium in 2021, will relocate to Las Vegas in the spring 2021.
General public tickets for 2020 PBR World Finals Unleash The Beast go on sale Monday, Oct. 5. Meanwhile, PBR Direct four-day packages went on sale Sept. 28-30, and PBR Direct single day tickets have been available since Oct. 1-2. Tickets can be purchased at the AT&T Stadium Box Office, online at ATTStadium.com or SeatGeek.com, and via phone to PBR Customer Service at (800) 732-1727.
CBS Sports Network will televise the PBR World Finals, in addition to pre-round shows previewing the action.
During PBR World Finals week, fans can also attend the Women’s Rodeo World Championship at the Will Rogers Coliseum Complex in Fort Worth. Competition begins Nov. 9 and wraps up with Championship Rounds held inside AT&T Stadium during the Nov. 13-15 World Finals performances.
Then, it’s all about the bulls at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center where fans can attend the American Bucking Bull Inc. World Finals. The top 2- and 3-year-old bulls in the world will compete in two rounds of competition where bull riders have a chance to win the 2020 ABBI Classic Champion title and $100,000
Meanwhile, the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals, also previously held in Las Vegas beginning Halloween, will instead now be held at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., Nov. 6-7.
“When Las Vegas no longer was an option for these events, (because of the pandemic) we needed to find new homes for both,” Gleason said. “If you’re going to get kicked in the butt, it might as well be with a golden horseshoe. We last visited the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, July 10-12, and invited fans back into an indoor arena with new safety protocols in place for the playoffs of the new Monster Energy Team Challenge.”
PRCA ALSO Leaving Las Vegas This Year
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, is also moving to Arlington, Texas, in December 2020. Arlington’s Globe Life Field, the home baseball park of the major league Texas Rangers will host the Wrangler NFR Dec. 3-12. Organizers with the PRCA confirmed the event will comply with all health and safety protocols for attendees. Tickets are on sale now. The PRCA, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., is excited about hosting this competition in Texas this year.
“We are committed to delivering a spectacular event for our fans and we are thrilled to be in Texas for it,” said George Taylor, CEO of the PRCA, in a statement.
Safety measures will include a mask requirement at all times while inside Globe Life Field. Hand washing and sanitizing stations will be available throughout the building.
The NFR is at home in Texas. It was formed and then spent three years at the Dallas State Fairgrounds in Texas in 1959. Years later, it moved to Las Vegas and has been held at the Thomas & Mack Center at University of Nevada, Las Vegas since 1985. That venue is not available for live entertainment with fans this year due to coronavirus restrictions in Nevada.
Globe Life Field is encouraging all guests to check the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services websites for any guideline changes prior to the event.
For more information, visit PBR.com, or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/PBR, Twitter at Twitter.com/PBR, and YouTube at YouTube.com/PBR. More information can also be found at http://www.prorodeo.com. ❖
— Hadachek is a freelance writer who lives on a farm with her husband in north central Kansas and is also a meteorologist and storm chaser. She can be reached at email@example.com.