Posted: Oct 23, 2012 2:54 PM by Scott Breen - Q2 Sports
PUEBLO, Colo. - Though its the smallest stop in the Pro Bull Riders Built Ford Tough series, Billings continues to stake claim as one of the hottest on tour, beating out the likes of Madison Square Garden in New York City and Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
Announcing the first half of its nationally-televised 2013 schedule, the PBR will hit Billings April 5-7 at Rimrock Auto Arena. That marks the 18th straight year for PBR Billings, setting a record for most total appearances and consecutive appearances in one city.
Following this week's World Finals, the PBR will begin celebrating 20 years of competition. In just two decades, the dream of 20 cowboys has harnessed the raw power of bull riding and transformed a county-fair spectacle into a worldwide sports and entertainment phenomenon. More than 100 million viewers watch primetime PBR programming annually on networks around the world and nearly two million fans attend BFTS and Touring Pro Division events each year. PBR has awarded over $120 million dollars in prize money since its creation, including a $1 million dollar bonus to the PBR World Champion each year.
"Celebrating 20 years is a momentous occasion for us," PBR Chairman and CEO Jim Haworth said. "Two decades of hard work and one unified dream has altered the sport of bull riding in its entirety. It is something we couldn't have done without the support of our stock contractors, riders and loyal, passionate fans. We are very excited for the future of PBR."
The BFTS schedule includes 26 stops in more than 15 states, featuring the world's best bull riders up against the roughest, toughest bucking bulls. The 2013 season will kick off at the world's most famous arena, New York's Madison Square Garden, Jan. 4-6, and will conclude in Las Vegas at the 2013 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, Oct. 23-27.
Highlights of this year's schedule include the Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., the fourth-annual Iron Cowboy in Dallas and Last Cowboy Standing taking place in Las Vegas. The tour will also feature a stop in Louisville, Ky., after last being there in 2002.
St. Louis, Mo., and Fresno, Calif., rejoin the BFTS schedule after appearing as stops on the tour in 2011. Tacoma, Wash., also returns as part of the 2013 season for the first time since 2009.
An additional 10 events in the second half of the season will be announced at a later date. For ticket and event information visit www.pbr.com.
2013 Built Ford Tough Series
Date, City, Venue
Jan. 4-6 in New York at Madison Square Garden
Jan. 12-13 in Chicago at Allstate Arena
Jan. 18-19 in Winston-Salem, N.C. at LJVM Coliseum
Jan. 25-27 in Oklahoma City at Chesapeake Energy Arena
Feb. 1-2 in Sacramento, Calif. at Sleep Train Arena
Feb. 8-10 in Anaheim, Calif. at Honda Center
Feb. 15-17 in St. Louis at Scottrade Center
Feb. 23-24 in Kansas City, Mo. at Sprint Center
March 2 in Arlington, Texas at Cowboys Stadium
March 9-10 in Tacoma, Wash. at Tacoma Dome
March 16-17 in Fresno, Calif. at Save Mart Center
March 22-24 in Albuquerque, N.M. at The Pit
April 5-7 in Billings, Mont. at Rimrock Auto Arena
April 13-14 in Louisville, Ky. at KFC Yum! Center
April 20-21 in Des Moines, Iowa at Wells Fargo Arena
April 26-27 in Boise, Idaho at Idaho Center
May 10-11 in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Events Center