Bullish on Fort Worth: Dickies Arena draws another big event – PBR World Finals

PBR World Champion Jose Vitor Leme in action. (Photo by Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media)

Once again Dickies Arena finds itself in the spotlight of the sports world.

For the first time, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Finals will be held in Fort Worth, taking over the popular state-of-the-art arena on consecutive weekends, May 13-15 and May 19-22. The seven-day marathon event will pay out millions of dollars in prize money to the world’s best professional bull riders and bucking bulls, including the 2022 PBR World Champion and YETI PBR World Champion Bull, the PBR World Finals event winner and PBR Rookie of the Year.

The two-weekend format is reminiscent of a past format when the event was split between two Las Vegas venues, Mandalay Bay and the Thomas & Mack Center.

“Dickies Arena is a state-of-the-art sports venue with great amenities. Every seat in the house is a great one,” said PBR CEO and Commissioner Sean Gleason. “Our fans deserve that for the World Finals.”

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Dickies Arena, which opened in 2019 with seating capacity ranging from 9,300 to 14,000 depending on the event, was recently nominated for Arena of the Year for 2021 by Pollstar Magazine.

The PBR is one of several major sporting events hosted by Dickies this year. The arena previously hosted the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo and the first two rounds of the men’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. This weekend, April 14-16, the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships will be in town.

Beyond sports, Dickies will also be hosting a number of major concerts in 2022, including Paul McCartney on May 17; Steely Dan on June 2; Rod Stewart on July 1; Keith Urban on Oct. 1; and Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show on Oct. 27.

Gleason said it makes sense for the prestigious PBR event to be in Fort Worth.

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“We’re Cowboys. Fort Worth is Cowtown, right in the heart of Texas. If we’re going to have a championship, this is the place for it,” he said.

While the event’s arrival in Fort Worth is historic, more history could be made in the competition itself.

Joao Ricardo Vieira, presently ranked No. 1 in the world, could become the oldest rider ever to win the PBR’s coveted gold buckle. Currently 37, Vieira would surpass Adriano Moraes, who won his third title in 2006 at age 36. In addition to being ranked No. 1 in the world with a lead of almost 100 points, Vieira also leads the PBR in most Unleash The Beast event wins (3), round wins (5) and bulls ridden (20).

Jose Vitor Leme is looking to become the first rider in history to be crowned PBR World Champion in three consecutive seasons and just the third three-time PBR World Champion ever. Despite getting a late start to the season while recovering from a nagging groin/abdominal injury initially sustained in 2021, Leme is currently No. 5 in the world standings, 317.5 points behind Vieira.

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Leme also registered what remains the high-marked ride of the season, scoring 94.75 points atop Ridin’ Solo en route to a win in Oklahoma City in mid-February.

“The PBR deal was truly a gamechanger for our city – laying the foundation for a relationship that will benefit our community for years to come,” said Fort Worth Sports Commission Executive Director Jason Sands. “This truly was a collaborative effort, and we are excited about welcoming PBR athletes and fans to experience the western hospitality Fort Worth is known for.”

Sands also noted that PBR’s management company has struck a deal with Stockyards Heritage to program events year-round in the Stockyards.

Sands said the deal with PBR gives Fort Worth and Dickies signage and marketing assets at more than 50 PBR performances across the country leading up to the World Finals in Fort Worth. He said during any TV broadcast of the PBR (events are featured on CBS Sports Network) viewers can see a Visit Fort Worth sticker front and center

Single-day tickets for the finals are on sale now, and start at $42, taxes and fees not included. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com and PBR.com, at the Dickies Arena Box Office, or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.

Weekend and travel packages, and spots in the RIDIN’ RANK RV Park are still available via the same contact information. For more information on the RIDIN’ RANK RV Park, including pricing, fans can call Matt Walsh at (508) 813-6446 or e-mail mwalsh@pbr.com.

For an enhanced PBR experience, fans can now purchase add-on PBR Premium Experiences which will include a behind-the-scenes tour on May 13-14 and May 19-21 for $50, and the Bull Housing Tour on May 13-14 and May 20-21 at 10 a.m. each day for $75.

The behind-the-scenes tour will include a backstage look at the inner workings of the PBR World Finals, commemorative lanyard and credential, and photo with the PBR World Finals trophy. The Bull Housing Tour will get folks up close and personal with the league’s top animal athletes, and include a commemorative lanyard and custom World Finals Bull Housing ear tag.

The PBR competition will be broadcast live daily on CBS Sports Network. The May 22 event will also feature a live telecast on CBS Sports. Each CBSSN broadcast on May 13-15 and May 19-21 will also be preceded by a 30-minute pre-show.

“PBR World Finals will now have a two-week presence throughout Fort Worth, making the Metroplex the must-visit, sports-entertainment destination every May,” Gleason said, already in anticipation of returning in future years. “We are ecstatic to work with our incredible partners in Fort Worth, as we usher in a new era that will add to the rich history of our World Finals and continue to bring exciting new programming to Fort Worth. We look forward to the many opportunities to grow the PBR World Finals and sport as a whole here in Texas.”

The daily competition begins at the following times:

Friday and Saturday, May 13-14, 6:45 p.m.

Sunday, May 15, 1:45 p.m.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 19-21, 7:45 p.m.

Sunday, May 22, 8:45 a.m.