PBR Returns to Historic Madison Square Garden on Jan. 6-8
By: Kacie Albert
NEW YORK, N.Y.– For the 16th time since the organization was founded, PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) elite Unleash The Beast will compete in New York, New York bucking into Madison Square Garden with the PBR Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden, presented by Ariat.
Adding to the significance of the tour stop, the PBR premier series’ event in New York City will be one of the Majors held during the 2023 season, offering competing riders both an increased event purse and world points.
For three nights only, 35 of the best bull riders in the world will go head-to-head against the sport’s rankest bovine athletes, showcasing the ultimate showdown of man vs. beast in one of the most exciting live sporting events to witness.
During the 2023 season, the PBR will celebrate the 30th anniversary since 20 cowboys broke away from the traditional rodeo with the belief that bull riding could be a standalone sport. Since their trailblazing initiative, the PBR has grown into a global phenomenon awarding nearly $300 million in prize money.
When the PBR last bucked into the World’s most famous arena, Kyler Oliver went a perfect 3-for-3 to clinch his first Unleash The Beast event victory, surging to the world No. 1 ranking for the first time in his young career.
As the season continued, while Oliver would stay atop the standings, he suffered a broken neck in early April which sidelined him for the remainder of the season and prevented him from contending for the gold buckle.
PBR’s return to the Big Apple comes on the spurs of a historic season for young gun Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York), who in 2022 became the first rider from New York to be crowned the PBR World Champion.
Clinching the title by winning the prestigious PBR World Finals, Swearingen went a torrid 26-for-60, covering 43.33% of his animal athlete opponents during his 2022 gold buckle campaign.
Swearingen earned $1,697,481.63, including $1,394,000 for his career-first PBR World Championship and World Finals event win. Swearingen, 23, is now 17th in all-time money earned in PBR competition with his career earnings topping more than $2.21 million.
Historically, Swearingen is the lone rider from New York to have ever competed at the PBR event inside Madison Square Garden. Competing inside the iconic venue twice, Swearingen finished 14th in 2020 and 17th in 2022.
The upcoming PBR Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden, presented by Ariat, will be the sixth event of the new individual season. Event-goers will watch on as riders vie for early points in the race to be crowned the 2023 PBR World Champion.
In recent history, the early-season New York City event was instrumental to one rider’s campaign that etched his name in the league record books.
In 2019, Jess Lockwood made history inside Madison Square Garden. As one of three riders to go a perfect 4-for-4, Lockwood won the New York City Major for the second time in his career, joining the elite company of two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney (2007, 2009, 2014) and 11-time World Finals qualifier Valdiron de Oliveira (2008, 2011) in capturing the prestigious event in multiple seasons.
Lockwood first won the event in 2017, a victory which was a valuable steppingstone for the Montana cowboy, then 20, to become the youngest World Champion in league history that November.
Lockwood’s victory at the 2019 Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden, presented by Ariat, propelled him to an early world No. 1 and set him on a path to becoming the youngest two-time World Champion in league history to end the 2019 season.
Other past New York City event winners include: Shane Proctor (2010), Cody Nance (2012), Robson Palermo (2013), Fabiano Vieira (2014), Guilherme Marchi (2015), Paulo Lima (2016), Gage Gay (2018) and Joao Ricardo Vieira (2020).
The bull riding action for the PBR Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden, presented by Ariat, begins with Round 1 at 7:45 p.m. ET on Friday, January 6, followed by Round 2 at 6:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 7, and Round 3 and the championship round at 1:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 8.
Tickets for the three-day Major event are on sale now, and start at $22, taxes and fees not included. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, PBR.com and MSG.com, or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.
PBR Elite Seats are available for avid fans who want an exclusive VIP experience while enjoying the world’s top bull riding circuit. These tickets, available in three tiers, offer premium seats, personal on-site concierge at the PBR fan loyalty booth, $20 concession voucher, souvenir credential and lanyard.
Available for $301, the PBR Bronze Elite Seats also include a post-event photo on the dirt which will be available for digital download after the event.
Priced at $356 is the PBR VIP Elite Seats and $431 is the PBR Premier Elite Seat, which include a 30th anniversary collectible item, pre-show backstage tour with PBR talent and photo on the dirt in front of the bucking chutes that will be presented in a PBR 30th Anniversary Season-branded frame to take home after the show and also available for digital download.
Additionally, the PBR Premier Elite Seats, which will offer the best views in the venue, will also include a 2023 PBR Yearbook.
For more information about the PBR and to see the full 2023 PBR Unleash The Beast schedule, visit PBR.com.
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