By: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – The light at the end of the 2020 tunnel is coming with the 2020 World Finals: Unleash The Beast less than four weeks away.
The PBR will proudly crown a 2020 World Champion at Arlington, Texas’ AT&T Stadium on Nov. 15, capping off a wild and unexpected season full of twists and turns. When the final remnants of confetti are cleaned up and the dirt is hauled out of the home of the Dallas Cowboys, hundreds of riders will turn their focus to 2021 and the dreams of making their own push at a gold buckle.
Come the new year, the PBR will embark upon its 28th season, and fans can now start making plans for 2021 and where they may just want to experience the toughest sport on dirt live and in-person.
Here is a By the Numbers look at the 2021 schedule
25: Twenty-five cities across the United States will host the PBR’s premier series in 2021. The first half will begin on Jan. 9 in Duluth, Georgia, and run until May 2 in New York City. The second half starts off with an event at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming on July 25, and the regular season will then conclude on Oct. 24 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The 2021 PBR World Finals will return to Las Vegas following a one-year hiatus on Nov. 3-7.
13: It has been 13 years since the PBR opened its premier series in Duluth, Georgia, and the 2021 season will begin where the 2020 season nearly came to a crashing halt. Duluth was the last premier series event the PBR put on during the first half of the 2020 season before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the PBR to shut down its tour for 41 days. Duluth was the first PBR event with no fans in attendance, and now the PBR excitedly will be able to open the doors of the Infinite Energy Arena and welcome fans back – safely socially distanced – who were unable to attend the 2020 event.
3: Three World Champions have been victorious inside the Infinite Energy Arena, including Mike Lee at the 2008 season opener in Duluth, Georgia. In fact, that began a stretch of three straight years where a champion was victorious – 2009 (future World Champion J.B. Mauney) and 2010 (2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi). By the time the PBR arrives back in Georgia in 2021, there may be another World Champion with a victory in Duluth after current world No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme won the 2019 event.
2: Las Vegas last hosted an international team bull riding competition in 2010. It was then that Team Brazil, led by 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, went on to win the final edition of the PBR World Cup. Now the PBR returns to Las Vegas with its first team bull riding competition in Vegas with its 2021 Global Cup, and Team USA will be looking to win a second consecutive Global Cup title on home soil. There are only two riders from the 2010 Brazil World Cup squad still competing today – three-time World Champion Silvano Alves and Paulo Lima. Marchi, 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes and three-time PBR World Finals event winner Robson Palermo have since retired.
1: There is only one event location on the 2021 schedule in which 15-time PBR World Finals qualifier J.B. Mauney has never competed in his career – Manchester, New Hampshire. Manchester is also one of 10 events on the schedule where Mauney has never won an event or 15/15 Bucking Battle in his career. Mauney is tied with two-time World Champion Justin McBride for the most event wins in PBR history. Here are the 10 markets on the 2021 schedule in which Mauney has yet to win either an event or a 15/15 Bucking Battle: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Indianapolis, Indiana; New Orleans, Louisiana; Glendale, Arizona; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Nashville, Tennessee; Fort Worth, Texas; Anaheim, California; Detroit, Michigan; and Manchester.
11: There are at least 11 markets scheduled for the PBR to stop in next season that the PBR either did not have on the original 2020 schedule or had to postpone/cancel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. PBR fans in these markets can celebrate the PBR’s return in 2021 if they were disappointed to have missed out in 2020 – Jacksonville, Florida (Jan. 30-31); Indianapolis, Indiana (Feb. 13-14); New Orleans, Louisiana (March 6-7); Glendale, Arizona (March 13-14); Albuquerque, New Mexico (April 23-25); Cheyenne, Wyoming (July 26-27); Nashville, Tennessee (Aug. 21-22); Anaheim, California (Sept. 10-11); Detroit, Michigan (Sept. 24-25); Greensboro, North Carolina (Oct. 9-10) and Las Vegas. Vegas will host the Global Cup (April 16-17) and the World Finals (Nov. 3-7).
42: The PBR returns to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the 17th consecutive season on July 31-Aug. 1, and the BOK Center continues to be a venue where some of the greatest PBR moments seem to occur. There have been 42 90-point rides on the elite series in Tulsa, including J.B. Mauney’s historic 95.25 points against three-time World Champion Bull Bushwacker. The legendary bovine had a record buckoff streak of 42 in a row before Mauney reached the 8-second mark.
2,800: Number of miles from Jacksonville, Florida, to Sacramento, California. Jacksonville will be the farthest south UTB event on the East Coast in 2021 (Jan. 30-31), and Sacramento (Aug. 6-8) will be the most northern West Coast event. Current world No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme won this past season’s three-day event in Sacramento with a 91-point ride on Rising Sun. The PBR has not held a premier series event in Jacksonville since Eduardo Aparecido went 3-for-3 to win the 2017 event at Veterans Memorial Arena.
For more information on 2021 tickets – which will be on sale next month – fans can contact PBR Direct at 800-732-1727.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media
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