PUEBLO, Colo. – The PBR (Professional Bull Riders) is headed back to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the first time since 2011 with the Express Employment Professionals Invitational, part of the elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS). On Sept. 18-19 at Time Warner Cable Arena, the Top 35 bull riders in the world will face the sport’s rankest bulls for their share of the $140,000 total purse.
The Express Employment Professionals Invitational will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, and at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19. Tickets start at $15 and are on sale now at the Time Warner Cable Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com and via phone at (800) 745-3000.
PBR Elite Seats will also be available for purchase for $299. This VIP PBR experience includes a pre-event reception, backstage tours featuring a PBR 101 presentation, meet-and-greets with the PBR’s exclusive entertainer Flint Rasmussen and PBR bull riders, with seats located in a special VIP section right next to the chutes.
All Top 35 bull riders will ride one bull each in Rounds 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. After Round 2 on Saturday, the riders’ individual scores will be totaled and the Top 15 riders on the weekend will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the event title worth at least $30,000.
North Carolina natives 2013 PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney, Shane Proctor, Mauney’s brother-in-law, Gage Gay, Michael Lane and Josh Faircloth are all scheduled to compete as well as three additional World Champions, including Mike Lee (2004), Renato Nunes (2010) and three-time World Champion Silvano Alves (2011, 2012, 2014).
Currently No. 1 in the PBR world standings, Mauney will face off against Past Time (Bar 3D Bucking Bulls) in Round 1 on Friday, a bull on which he picked up 85.5 points when he covered him at the PBR New York event in 2014.
Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger’s Americana takes on Gay for a third time this year, with the upcoming matchup being the first to take place on the BFTS. Gay rode Americana for 91.5 points to win the BlueDEF Velocity Tour event in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, in July.
CBS Television Network will air the Built Ford Tough Championship Round at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 20, while CBS Sports Network will broadcast Round 2 and the championship round on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. Fans can also watch each round of competition live on PBR LIVE via CarbonTV.com. PBR LIVE is now available at no charge to all fans and media, and can be found by visiting www.pbr.com/live.
The PBR Express Employment Professionals Invitational is stop No. 24 of 27 on the 2015 BFTS. The season will conclude at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 21-25 when the 2015 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who earns the most points during the 2015 season, will be crowned and receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and a $1 million bonus.
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.