By: Denise Abbott
April 29, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – The PBR (Professional Bull Riders) will debut its elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) in Eugene, Oregon, on Oct. 1-2 at Matthew Knight Arena, the home of the University of Oregon Ducks.
The PBR visited Eugene with its Touring Pro Division for three years after Matthew Knight Arena opened in 2011, offering Oregon fans a chance to see some of the PBR’s up-and-coming talent. This year, the stars of the BFTS, the Top 35 bull riders in the world, will compete at the arena in the Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic.
More than 750 tons of dirt – 1.5 million pounds – will cover the arena floor and nearly 70 tons of bull will be present doing battle with the world’s best bull riding stars during this action-packed two-day event. As one of the final stops on the 2016 BFTS, the Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic will be one of the last opportunities for these athletes to gain the valuable points needed to qualify for the $2.3 million PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals which take place one month later, Nov. 2-6, at Las Vegas’ new T-Mobile Arena.
Current world No. 1 and reigning PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney is expected to compete, alongside some of the most skilled rookie talent the sport has seen in years, including 20-year-old Derek Kolbaba of Walla Walla, Washington, whose recent win at the Des Moines BFTS stop made him the leader in the 2016 Rookie of the Year race, 18-year-old Jess Lockwood, the winner of the 2016 Billings BFTS stop, Melton, Montana’s Nevada Newman and 36-year-old rookie Wallace de Oliveira of Brazil.
“We’re excited to bring the PBR Built Ford Tough Series back to the Pacific Northwest,” said PBR’s Chief Executive Officer Sean Gleason. “I left the Eugene area to join the PBR seventeen years ago, and it is a great honor to bring our elite tour to Matthew Knight Arena. The PBR has hosted successful qualifying events at this arena, and see it as the perfect venue to experience the toughest sport on earth.”
On Saturday and Sunday fans will witness electrifying 8-second rides and heart-stopping wrecks as the stars of the PBR risk it all against their opponents, who can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. This is the only chance in 2016 that the Pacific Northwest will be able to see these courageous cowboys take on the best bulls in the business.
The Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2. Tickets will go on sale in June at the Matthew Knight Arena box office, online at www.matthewknightarena.com, and via phone at 800-WEB-FOOT or 800-992-TIXX after normal business hours. Stay tuned to www.pbr.com for more on-sale date details.
For an enhanced PBR experience, fans can purchase the PBR Elite Seats. Located in an exclusive section of the arena near all of the action, the PBR Elite Seats will give fans the VIP experience of a lifetime, including a pre-event catered reception, backstage tours featuring a PBR 101 presentation, and meet-and-greets with the PBR’s top stars. Contact the PBR Customer Service Department at 800-732-1727 for more information.
The bull riders will ride one bull each in Rounds 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday. After Round 2 on Sunday, the riders’ individual scores will be totaled and the riders with the top 15 two-day totals will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title.
After Round 1 on Saturday, the PBR will offer fans an added treat, the 15/15 Bucking Battle. This special round of competition features the Top 15 ranked bull riders in the world facing the Top 15 ranked bulls for a chance to earn additional money and valuable PBR world standings bonus points which are needed to win the $1 million PBR World Champion title. The 15/15 Bucking Battle will air on CBS Television Network on Sunday, Oct. 2 at either 3-4 p.m. ET or 5-6 p.m. ET. Please check local listings for more details.
The Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic is the 23rd stop on the 2016 BFTS schedule. The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network – the home of the PBR and networks around the world. 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.
© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.