The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) organization loves Fort Worth so much it’s sticking around for the summer.
On the heels of a successful run of the PBR Finals for 10 days in mid-May at Dickies Arena, the organization launched an 11-event Challenger Series Residency in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards.
The competition, entitled “PBR Sundays at Cowtown,” is being held at 2 p.m. each Sunday through Aug. 21 at the iconic Cowtown Coliseum and features some of the world’s best bull riders.
Each week, 35 competing riders attempt one bull each in Round 1. Following the opening round, the top eight advance to the championship round where they attempt one final bull, all in an effort to be crowned the event champion.
The Challenger Series follows PBR’s announcement in June 2021 of a joint venture with Stockyards Heritage Development Co. and ASM Global to bring dozens of annual new western sports, music and entertainment events to Cowtown Coliseum and the historic Stockyards District.
In addition, the newly launched PBR Team Series League will hold competition throughout the summer and into the fall at various sites around the country. Fort Worth’s own Ariat Texas Rattlers will host their homestand at Dickies Arena Oct. 7-9. There are eight PBR Team Series squads.
During the inaugural PBR World Finals in Fort Worth fans were not only treated to the action at Dickies Arena, they were also provided with nearly two weeks of thrills inside Cowtown Coliseum, including the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, Women’s Rodeo World Championship, NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) Super Showcase, Mexico en la Sangre, and more.
PBR Commissioner and CEO Sean Gleason said relocating the PBR World Finals to Fort Worth was an enormous and positive change for the sport. He labeled the reception from the city and fans, along with the competition, a resounding success.
“PBR and our fans were welcomed with open arms, and it immediately felt right to have our championship in the heart of cowboy country,” Gleason said. “The action on the dirt at Dickies Arena was as thrilling as any Finals in PBR history, while the Stockyards, including Cowtown Coliseum, provided the backdrop for two weeks of western sports and lifestyle programming we’d dreamed about for years.
“We learned a lot in our first year and are now focused on making the biggest party in Texas even more exciting for our loyal fans in 2023.”
Daylon Swearingen, of Piffard, NY, capped a dominant season by winning the 2022 PBR World Finals. He dedicated the championship to his late grandmother.
“My grandma passed away this past year, and I know she’s watching over me. It’s really special having my family here. They keep praying for me and pushing me forward,” he said.
Fort Worth Sports Commission Director Jason Sands said the PBR Finals and connected festivities brought about 150,000 people to Fort Worth with an overall economic impact of about $23 million.
“I’d say overall the event was a huge success and we couldn’t be more happy with the partnership and the opportunity for continued growth in future years,” Sands said. “It truly was a collaborative city effort with so many partners pitching in to create an experience only Fort Worth can deliver.
The current deal between PBR and Fort Worth is for three years, and Sands said the focus is to continue to build off of the momentum from this year to enhance the fan experience each and every year.
“If you thought this year was big – just wait until next year when we have a full year to plan,” he said.
Tickets for the Residency events can be purchased online or at the Cowtown Coliseum Box Office. PBR Elite Seats are available for $100 for avid fans who want an exclusive VIP experience. These tickets offer the best seats in the venue, and a question-and-answer presentation with some of the top bull riders and stock contractors in the world.