By: Andrew Giangola
When PBR returns to Sioux Falls next month, the sport will notch another in a growing series of “firsts” – the ability to host a full house indoors.
PBR was the first major professional sport in North America to return to competition following the COVID-19 shutdown in late April, 2020, and then the first to welcome fans back into indoor arenas last July in Sioux Falls with new safety protocols in place.
And now, PBR will lead the way in offering a sporting event at full indoor arena capacity when the world’s top cowboys and rankest bulls storm back into the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls April 9-11.
Since the onset of the health pandemic, through implementing new protocols and executing the blueprint for a return to the playing field it had penned for all other sports, PBR has successfully held 31 ticketed fan weekends with 66 individual ticketed events, hosting more than 131,000 fans.
“We’re excited to welcome bull riding back to Sioux Falls,” said South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. “Last summer, PBR proved that we can hold safe and responsible events, and they chose South Dakota for the first major sporting event with fans in the stands in the country. We’re building on the success of that event and proving that South Dakota is a national destination for rodeo.”
In all markets, PBR continues to follow government guidance in working with arena partners to hold safe and responsible events.
PBR, along with ASM Global and the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, says it is committed to continuing to create a safe and responsible environment for all fans attending the Unleash The Beast First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational.
The event will utilize ASM Global’s “Venue Shield”– an advanced environmental hygiene protocol that reduces physical touchpoints, increases venue sanitization and cleanliness, and provides various health monitoring guidelines and services.
In addition to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) screening, PBR staff and athletes will undergo medical testing for COVID-19.
“One of the key milestones for our sport’s safe and responsible return was when fans came back into the arena in Sioux Falls last July through a forward-thinking partnership with ASM Global, the City of Sioux Falls and Gov. Kristi Noem,” said Sean Gleason, CEO and Commissioner, PBR. “We are very excited to return to Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls to keep moving forward.”
It’s fitting that PBR will mark another milestone in its leadership amid challenging circumstances for live events at an ASM Global arena.
Among the league’s partners, ASM Global venues have hosted approximately two thirds of PBR’s events held during the pandemic.
“Venues that are very dependent on live ticketed events and need to get back to business have been extremely receptive of PBR’s protocols and are eager to collaborate on events,” Gleason said. “PBR has always enjoyed strong venue partnerships, and during COVID-19, these relationships have gotten stronger. Times of crisis are difficult. And they can also bring resilient people closer than ever.”
For the First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational, fan favorites including reigning World Champion Jose Vitor Leme, two-time World Champions J.B. Mauney and Jess Lockwood, three-time World Champion Silvano Alves, 2018 World Champion Kaique Pacheco, 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis, 2020 Iron Cowboy winner Cole Melancon, Arkansas cowboy Chase Outlaw, South Dakota resident Matt Triplett and many more will be among the riders expected to compete throughout the weekend.
The bull riding action will begin at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, April 9, 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 10 and 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 11.
Tickets for the three-day event, can be purchased at the KELOLAND Box Office inside the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, by calling PBR at (800) 732-1727, visiting Ticketmaster.com, or by visiting pbr.com. Prices range from $15 to $110.
A new discounted three-day combo ticket can be purchased by calling PBR.
Fans can also upgrade their ticket purchase with an “Elite Experience” add-on for $75, purchase an exclusive VIP “PBR Elite Seats” experience for $350, or choose an exclusive Bull Housing tour on Saturday morning April 10 by contacting the PBR at 800-732-1727 or by visiting Ticketmaster.com.
Fans around the country can take advantage of the Sioux Falls “Travel Package,” a new offer for the 2021 event. This getaway package offers hotel accommodations for two nights (Fri/Sat or Sat/Sun), two tickets for all three nights of the competition, three $10 concession vouchers, an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the inter-workings of a PBR event, the Saturday morning “Bull Housing Tour,” a welcome tote and a souvenir credential and lanyard.
Available for $1,500, the “Travel Package” is built as the ultimate weekend away for two fans and can be purchased by calling PBR.
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