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