By: Heather Croze
January 13, 2017
CHICAGO – The “toughest men on dirt” return to Chicago this weekend for the eighth time as the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) takes over Allstate Arena with the Chicago Invitational. Fans will witness thrilling 8-second rides and jaw-dropping wrecks throughout the adrenaline-fueled event as the Top 35 bull riders in the world risk it all against the best bucking bulls.
For the first time ever, PBR’s elite national series will hold a three-day event in Rosemont’s Allstate Arena, in response to growing popularity of the event.
The action starts at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, continues at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, and concludes at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15. Tickets, starting as low as $22, are available now at the Allstate Arena box office, www.Ticketmaster.com, and by telephone at (800) 745-3000.
During Round 1 on Friday, Round 2 on Saturday and Round 3 on Sunday, the bull riders will face one bull each. Following Round 3, the Top 15 riders with the highest cumulative scores after the three rounds will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the event title.
This weekend will also feature a special round of competition, the season’s first 15/15 Bucking Battle. Fans who will be in attendance on Friday will be able to witness the Top 15 riders in the world squaring off against the 15 highest-ranking bulls at the event. The special round will be held immediately following Round 1 and will be broadcast on CBS, Saturday, Jan. 14 at noon ET (please check your local listings). Points earned in the PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle do not count toward the event results, but they will count toward the PBR world standings and toward qualification for the Built Ford Tough World Finals.
In the first event of the 2016 season, 36-year old rookie Wallace de Oliveira captured his first-ever event win after going 3-for-3. Oliveira left the Windy City as the No. 1 bull rider in the PBR world standings and walked away with $36,700 in earnings.
Past event winners in Chicago include:
2016: Wallace de Oliveira
2015: Silvano Alves
2014: Marco Eguchi
2013: Billy Robinson
2011: Robson Palermo
2008: Adriano Moraes and Dustin Hall
2006: Austin Meier
This weekend fans will be able to cheer on 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis along with PBR Rookies of the Year, Jess Lockwood (2016) and Kaique Pacheco (2015). Fan favorites Ryan Dirteater, Guilherme Marchi and Mike Lee will also be competing.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network 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.
The 2017 BFTS schedule gets underway in famed Madison Square Garden, starting a fierce 26-stop tour that will see the top bull riders in the world visit cities like Anaheim, California, St. Louis, Kansas City, Nashville, and Dallas during its 18-state tour. The BFTS will culminate with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas where the 2017 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who earns the most PBR world points during the 2017 season, will receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and $1 million bonus.
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