By: Jordan Hebert
February 07, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – Following sold-out events on consecutive weekends in California, the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) will once again head back to Kansas City for the Kansas City Invitational, presented by Express Employments Professionals, at Sprint Center on Feb. 11-12.
This will be the 14th consecutive year that the stars of the PBR will shine in the Power & Light District.
Missouri fans will witness the Top 35 bull riders in the world facing opponents 10 times their size through thrilling 8 second rides and heart-stopping wrecks over the course of this two-day event. They will all vie for a piece of a $140,000 payout, going up against some of the world’s most fearsome bovine athletes in the only sport that pits lightweight vs. heavyweight in the same arena.
In 2016, a record-breaking crowd watched then-reigning PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney secure the No. 1 spot in the PBR World Standings. Eduardo Aparecido won the event in Kansas City, and was the only rider to go a perfect 3-for-3 on the weekend.
This season, PBR’s Young Guns, including 19-year-old Jess Lockwood and 20-year-old Derek Kolbaba are off to fast starts, winning three of the first six BFTS events. Lockwood, the current world No. 1, opened 2017 by winning in New York before his roommate and best friend Kolbaba reigned supreme in Oklahoma City. Lockwood won again the following week with a perfect 4-for-4 performance in Sacramento, California.
He leads Rubens Barbosa, who finished second in Anaheim, California, last weekend, by 495 points.
Competition will begin at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, Feb. 11 and at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, Feb. 12. Each rider will take on one bull each in Rounds 1 and 2. Immediately following Round 2 on Sunday, the riders’ individual scores will be totaled and the Top 15 will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title.
Kansas City will also feature the season’s third 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night. Immediately following Round 1, the Top 15 bull riders in the world will face the Top 15 bucking bulls in a special round with extra world standings points and prize money on the line.
CBS will broadcast the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Sunday Feb. 12 at 12 p.m. ET, and CBS Sports Network will broadcast all of the Championship Sunday action starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Tickets for the Kansas City Invitational are on sale now, and start at $17. They can be purchased at the Price Chopper Box Office at Sprint Center, www.SprintCenter.com, by phone at 888.929.7849, and all Ticketmaster outlets. PBRewards Members can earn PBRewards points and will receive access to the best available seats by purchasing their tickets through the PBR Customer Service Department at 800-732-1727.
For an enhanced PBR experience, fans can now purchase PBR Elite Seats, which provide a behind-the-scenes look into the toughest sport on dirt. This once-in-a-lifetime experience includes early entry; tickets to a premium seating section; a catered reception; a 60-minute, backstage tour by a PBR Host, featuring a PBR 101 presentation and visit with the sport’s fiercest bulls; and the opportunity for photos and autographs from the top PBR stars. After the event, PBR Elite Seat ticketholders also will be given premium dirt access, where they can get their complimentary 8 Seconds PBR program, Elite Seat lanyard and other memorabilia autographed by the Top 35 bull riders in the world.
The PBR Elite Seats are available for $402 and also can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by contacting the PBR Customer Service Department at 800-732-1727.
Kansas City will be the 6th stop on the 2017 BFTS schedule. The season spans from the opener in New York City at the world famous Madison Square Garden on Jan. 6 to its epic conclusion at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Nov. 1-5, 2017 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network and networks around the world. Television viewership for PBR on CBS was up 12 percent in the 2016 season, according to Nielsen, and the sport set 13 event attendance records. BFTS telecasts are produced for the PBR under a multi-year agreement with David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 34-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer.
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