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PBR (Professional Bull Riders) today announced that the newly formed Arizona Ridge Riders team will join the PBR Team Series. The new elite league features the world’s top bull riders and will begin games in June 2022.
The Teton Ridge-owned team will be housed at Gila River Arena, located in Glendale. PBR has a strong existing relationship with the Arizona market as the Unleash The Beast series has held events in the Gila River Arena since 2016. The Unleash The Beast series will return to Glendale March 12-13.
“The Arizona Ridge Riders are thrilled to join the PBR family and bring a 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.
“Having been 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 were living in Texas, my wife rode horses and was in local rodeos. There is nothing more iconic, more genuine, 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’ll become a fan!”
Team formatted bull riding events have been growing in popularity since the debut 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, Tex., owned by the Fisher family
- Arizona Ridge Riders, based in Glendale, Ariz., owned by Teton Ridge
- Austin Gamblers, based in Austin, Tex., owned by Egon Durban
- Carolina Chaos, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., owned by the league 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, Tenn., owned by Morris Communications Company
- Oklahoma Freedom, based in Oklahoma City, Okla., owned by the league and operated by Prodigal
“Over the past 29 years, PBR has grown to become a mainstream sport carried by CBS and Pluto TV and packing marquee arenas across the country,” said PBR CEO and Commissioner Sean Gleason. “The incredible lineup of passionate, highly successful 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 rider draft on May 23 prior to the start of the 2022 season, among PBR rider members who have declared for the draft during the league’s eligibility window. To determine team selection order of the athletes, a draft lottery among teams will be held prior to the PBR Unleash The Beast event at Madison Square Garden in New York on Friday, January 7.
There will be two “neutral site” league-produced events, regular-season events and the season playoff and championship. The PBR Team Series’ inaugural 10-event regular season will culminate in a team playoff at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas November 4-6, 2022. All PBR Team Series events will be carried on either the CBS Television Network, streaming live on Paramount+, CBS Sports Network or Pluto TV.
The PBR Team Series complements the successful PBR Unleash The Beast premier tour, which held its first championship in 1994. In 2022, it will be staged January – May, with its World Finals held in Fort Worth, Texas from May 13-22.
The PBR Team Series builds on the existing structure of professional bull riding with the same rules for judging and scoring qualified 8-second bull rides. Events will be structured in a tournament-style format with all teams competing in head-to-head matchups against a different opponent each day. Each game will feature five riders per team squaring off against another team. The team with the highest aggregate score of qualified rides among its riders will be declared the winner of each game. The event winner will be the team with the most game wins across an event, with a special bonus round designed as a tie-breaker to determine final event standings.
The successful event format continued in June and July 2021 with the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol. In addition, PBR has staged multiple Air Force Reserve Cowboys for a Cause team charity events.
About Teton Ridge:
Teton Ridge is a multi-platform, wholly American-owned brand devoted to the iconic American western way of life and western sports. Teton Ridge’s Sports division was created with the singular focus of elevating classic western sports and America’s western culture on the world stage, while broadening audiences around the globe as well as at home. In 2021, Teton Ridge acquired The American, the iconic event of the rodeo circuit, to continue to expand the audiences for rodeo sports and make it the world’s premiere western culture event. For more information about Teton Ridge, please visit tetonridge.com or @tetonridge on Instagram @tetonridgeusa on Facebook. For more information on The American, please 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 more than 200 events annually across the televised PBR Unleash The Beast tour (UTB), which features the top 35 bull riders in the world; the PBR Pendleton Whisky 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 PBR Team Series – eight teams of the world’s best bull riders competing for a new championship. PBR’s digital assets include RidePass, which is 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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