PBR, Inc. Takes Professional Bull Riding to a Higher Level in Sports

Sep 02, 1999, 01:00 ET from Professional Bull Riders

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- PBR Headquarters -- The
 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) announced the schedule for the eighth annual,
 nationally televised Bud Light Cup Series presented by Las Vegas today.  The
 PBR Bud Light Cup presented by Las Vegas, the major league of professional
 bull riding, is exclusively televised on TNN featuring the top 45 bull riders
 in the world and guaranteeing the highest level of competitive livestock in
 the country.
     The PBR has crossed major boundaries as a professional sport with the
 2000 29-city Bud Light Cup Series.  The $6.2 million purse boasts a 13 percent
 increase over last year's pay-out and is the highest combined prize money
 offered in bull riding and rodeo.  With the increased purse, the PBR is
 initiating a program where each bull rider competing on the Bud Light Cup is
 paid for qualifying for each event.  The pre-existing format and industry
 standard had only the top finishers of the event earning a paycheck.  The new
 PBR system will guarantee each athlete an annual minimum salary.
     "The PBR is striving to bring the sport of professional bull riding to the
 level of all other professional sports where each athlete that makes the cut
 gets a check for being good enough to qualify even before the competition
 starts," said Randy Bernard, chief executive officer for the PBR.  "These
 athletes are risking their lives and going up against the most brutal bulls in
 existence.  When they are competing at this level, bull riders deserve to be
 treated like professional athletes."
     Kicking off the new century, the 2000 PBR season starts at the Delta
 Center in Salt Lake City, Ut., December 31, 1999, and culminates with the
 $1.5 million Bud Light Cup World Championships at the Thomas & Mack Center in
 Las Vegas, Oct. 26-29.  Seven of the 29 events will be one-day events paying
 $80,000 in prize money as compared to the remaining two-day events which offer
 $100,000 in prize money.
     "This sport began a long time ago and carries some amazing tradition.
 It's great to be a part of the evolution and see the bull riders benefit like
 professional athletes in golf and auto racing," said 1998 PBR World Champion
 and Board of Director member Troy Dunn.  "It's not a traditional event anymore
 -- it's action and excitement -- loud music, pyrotechnics, lasers and the best
 athletes in bull riding.  The support we get from fans, sponsors like
 Anheuser-Busch and Las Vegas, and weekly television coverage on TNN has made
 the popularity of bull riding explode."
     The Bud Light Cup will collaborate with independent promoters for a
 majority of the events in 2000.  SFX Entertainment will be the largest
 promoter working with the PBR co-promoting seven Bud Light Cup events
 including new stops in New Orleans, Grand Rapids, Mi., and Portland, Ore.
 Since 1997, when PBR initiated partnerships with SFX, the joint ventures have
 hosted capacity crowds in diverse markets such as St. Louis, Washington D.C.,
 Boston and Tampa Bay.
     The inaugural Bud Light Cup Series consisted of eight cities and a
 $250,000 purse and was the beginning of a national television contract with
 TNN offering professional bull riding access to the mainstream sports
 enthusiasts and a fan base with a broad demographic.  The Bud Light Cup on
 TNN, which airs on Sundays and Thursdays, has grown annually in viewer
 audience popularity by increasing percentages to become one of the highest-
 rated programs on TNN.
     The PBR is the primary governing body in the sport of bull riding.  The
 PBR represents athletes from the United States, Canada, Australia and Brazil.
 The more than 800 members include some of the most accomplished athletes in
 the sport of bull riding including Troy Dunn, the 1998 PBR World Champion and
 four-time Australian champion; Tuff Hedeman, four-time world champion bull
 rider; Ty Murray, seven-time PRCA All-Around World Champion Cowboy, 1992 and
 '98 PRCA World Champion Bull Rider; Michael Gaffney, the 1997 PBR World
 Champion; Owen Washburn, the 1996 PBR World Champion; Adriano Moraes, the 1994
 PBR World Champion and two-time Brazilian champion; Terry Don West, the 1996
 PRCA World Champion Bull Rider, Jerome Davis, the 1995 PRCA World Champion
 Bull Rider; Jim Sharp, two-time PRCA World Champion Bull Rider; Cody Custer,
 the 1991 PRCA World Champion Bull Rider.
                           2000 Bud Light Cup Series
                             presented by Las Vegas
         DATE                         LOCATION                        VENUE
     Dec. 31                Salt-Lake City, UT                 Delta Center
     *Jan. 7-8                   Worcester, MA               Centrum Center
     *Jan. 14-15                  Columbus, GA        Columbus Civic Center
     Jan. 22                      Portland, OR                  Rose Garden
     *Jan. 28-29                Greensboro, NC          Greensboro Coliseum
     Feb. 4-5                      Guthrie, OK                Lazy E. Arena
     *Feb. 11-12                 Cleveland, OH         CSU Convacation Ctr.
     *Feb. 19-20                 St. Louis, MO            Kiel Center Arena
     Feb. 26                     Tampa Bay, FL                   Ice Palace
     *March 11-12                Ft. Worth, TX         Will Rogers Coliseum
     March 18                      Phoenix, AZ           America West Arena
     *March 24-25              Albuquerque, NM             Tingley Coliseum
     March 31-April 1               Odessa, TX        Ector County Coliseum
     *April 7-8                   Billings, MT                         NILE
     April 15                    Uniondale, NY              Nassau Veterans
                                                          Memorial Coliseum
     April 22                  New Orleans, LA            New Orleans Arena
     *April 28-29                    Nampa, ID                 Idaho Center
     *May 12-13                Bakersfield, CA        The Centennial Garden
     *May 19-20               Grand Rapids, MI              Van Andel Arena
     June 2-3                    Nashville, TN         Municipal Auditorium
     *June 9-10                  Charlotte, NC           Independence Arena
     Aug. 11-12              Oklahoma City, OK    Oklahoma State Fair Arena
     Aug. 19-20                    Houston, TX                Compaq Center
     Sept. 8-9                        Reno, NV      Livestock Events Center
     Sept. 16                      Anaheim, CA               Arrowhead Pond
     *Sept. 22-23                 Laughlin, NV         Laughlin Fairgrounds
     Oct. 7            Calgary, Alberta Canada                  Saddle Dome
     *Oct. 13-14                  Columbus, OH             Nationwide Arena
     Oct. 26-29                  Las Vegas, NV         Thomas & Mack Center
     *Indicates two days of TV coverage

SOURCE Professional Bull Riders