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PBR (Professional Bull Riders) announced today that the new Arizona Ridge Riders team will join the PBR Team Series. The new elite league features the best bull riders in the world and will begin matches in June 2022.
The Teton Ridge-owned team will be housed at Gila River Arena, located in Glendale. PBR has a strong relationship with the Arizona market, as Unleash The Beast Series has held events at the Gila River Arena since 2016. Unleash The Beast Series will return to Glendale on March 12-13.
“The Arizona Ridge Riders are thrilled to join the PBR family and bring greater appreciation for the excellence and dedication these athletes bring to their craft,” said Jonathan Katz, CEO of Teton Ridge. “As Teton Ridge continues to raise the profile of Western sports, the formation of this league is a critical step in the evolution of Western culture.”
In addition to competing in the PBR Team Series, the Arizona Ridge Riders will host an annual bull riding event and western lifestyle festival, to continue building on the excitement and enthusiasm for the sport.
“Being born and raised in Deadwood, South Dakota, I attended the annual ‘Days of ’76’ rodeo as a kid,” said Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers. “Later in life, while we lived in Texas, my wife rode horses and competed in local rodeos. There’s nothing more iconic, more authentic, and more fun than when the PBR comes to town. This event will contribute to the rapid growth of Glendale. Everyone should attend, even if you’ve never been to a rodeo before. You will become a fan!
Team bull riding events have grown in popularity since the start of the PBR Global Cup in 2017, which has increased interest in the league.
The full PBR Team Series league roster includes:
- Ariat Texas Rattlers, based in Fort Worth, Texas, owned by the Fisher family
- Arizona Ridge Riders, based in Glendale, Arizona, owned by Teton Ridge
- Austin Gamblers, based in Austin, Texas, owned by Egon Durban
- Carolina Chaos, based in Winston-Salem, NC, league owned and operated by Richard Childress Racing
- Kansas City Outlaws, based in Kansas City, Mo., owned by Pulley Outlaws LLC.
- Missouri Thunder, based in Ridgedale, Mo., owned by Johnny Morris
- Nashville Stampede, based in Nashville, Tennessee, owned by Morris Communications Company
- Oklahoma Freedom, based in Oklahoma City, Okla., league owned and operated by Prodigal
“Over the past 29 years, PBR has grown into a mainstream sport carried by CBS and Pluto TV and has filled marquee arenas across the country,” said PBR CEO and Commissioner Sean Gleason. “The incredible lineup of passionate, high-achieving team owners validates the new PBR Team Series – a transformational addition to the sport that will help take PBR to new levels.”
The league will host a PBR Team Series runners draft on May 23 before the start of the 2022 season, from members of PBR runners who declared themselves for the draft during the league’s eligibility window. To determine the order of athlete team selection, a draw among teams will take place prior to the PBR Unleash The Beast event at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Friday, January 7.
There will be two league-produced “neutral site” events, regular season events and the season playoffs and championships. The PBR Team Series’ inaugural 10-event regular season will culminate in a tag team playoff at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas from November 4-6, 2022. All PBR Team Series events will be televised on network television. CBS, streaming live on Paramount+, CBS Sports Network or Pluto TV.
The PBR Team Series builds on the success of the first PBR Unleash The Beast Tour, which held its first championship in 1994. In 2022, it will run from January through May, with its World Finals being held in Fort Worth, Texas, May 13-22.
The PBR Team series builds on the existing structure of professional riding with the same rules for judging and scoring qualified 8-second bullfights. Events will be structured in a tournament-like format with all teams competing in head-to-head matchups against a different opponent each day. Each match will feature five riders per team competing against another team. The team with the highest overall score of qualified runs among its riders will be declared the winner of each match. The event winner will be the team with the most wins in an event, with a special bonus round designed as a tiebreaker to determine the event’s final standings.
The successful event format continued in June and July 2021 with the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by US Border Patrol. Additionally, PBR has hosted several Air Force Reserve Cowboys for a Cause team charity events.
About Teton Ridge:
Teton Ridge is an all-American, multi-platform brand dedicated to the iconic American Western lifestyle and western sports. Teton Ridge’s Sports Division was created with the sole purpose of elevating classic Western sports and American Western culture to the world stage, while expanding audiences around the world as well as at home. In 2021, Teton Ridge acquired The American, the rodeo circuit’s signature event, to continue to expand the audience for rodeo sports and make it the premier Western cultural event in the world. For more information on Teton Ridge, please visit tetonridge.com or @tetonridge on Instagram @tetonridgeusa on Facebook. For more information on The American, visit americanrodeo.com or @TheAmerican.TR on Instagram @The AmericanTR on Facebook and Twitter.
About PBR (Professional Bull Riders):
PBR is the world’s premier bull riding organization. More than 500 bull riders compete in over 200 events a year on the PBR Unleash The Beast (UTB) television tour, which features the top 35 bull riders in the world; the PBR Pendleton Whiskey Velocity Tour (PWVT); the PBR Touring Pro Division (TPD); and the PBR’s international circuits in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico. In June 2022, PBR will launch the PBR Team Series – eight teams of the world’s top bull riders competing for a new championship. PBR’s digital assets include RidePass, home to Western sports. PBR is a subsidiary of IMG, a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media. 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.
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