By: Kacie Albert
OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – For the first time in league history, the elite PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast will travel to Okeechobee, Florida, holding one of the first events of the 2021 season’s initial outdoor swing at the Agri-Civic Center with the PBR Okeechobee Invitational January 30-31.
The PBR Okeechobee Invitational, featuring the Top 30 bull riders in the world taking on the rankest bulls, will mark the third event of 2021. The Unleash The Beast: American Roots Edition – early-season events at outdoor rodeo arenas across the south – is scheduled to first stop in Ocala, Florida on Jan. 16-17, and Arcadia, Florida on Jan. 23-24.
The PBR Okeechobee Invitational will follow all local and state health protocols. PBR, along with the Agri-Civic Center, is instituting a series of fan safety protocols, including:
• In addition to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-informed screening, all PBR personnel will undergo medical testing for COVID-19 and be required to wear masks.
• PBR will only sell up to 50% of arena capacity to separate fans. To further promote social distancing, fans will only be able to sit in every other row, with seating limited in each open row.
• Social distancing will be encouraged at the concession stands, restrooms and merchandise stands.
Prior to the PBR Unleash The Beast: American Roots Edition event in late January, the iconic southern Florida agricultural venue will have welcomed numerous fan-attended events, including the National Barrel Horse Association FL03 & 05 Co-Sanctioned Show, 2020 South East Florida Barrel Racers Tour of Champions, and the Yeehaw Music Fest.
PBR’s 2021 debut in Okeechobee comes on the heels of a trailblazing season in which PBR was the first major professional sport in North America to return to competition in late April following the COVID-19 (coronavirus) related shutdown, and the first to host fans in-arena in mid-July with new safety protocols in place.
Throughout the landmark season, fans witnessed one of the greatest PBR athlete performances of all time.
During a seemingly unstoppable season, which included winning a league-leading seven elite tour events and 16 rounds, Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) went a torrid 44-for-65 covering a head-turning 67.69% of the planet’s rankest bovine athletes en route to the 2020 PBR World Championship.
During 2020, fans were also introduced to rising young gun Boudreaux Campbell (Crockett, Texas). After riding at five regular-season premier series stops, Campbell delivered a near-perfect 4-for-5 showing at the 2020 PBR World Finals inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas to win the sport’s most prestigious event, surge from No. 33 to No. 3 in the world, and capture the 2020 PBR Rookie of the Year honor.
The bull riding action for the PBR Okeechobee Invitational begins at 2:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 30, and Sunday, January 31. Nightly, the Top 30 bull riders in the world will attempt one bull each in Round 1, followed by the Top 12 advancing to the championship round.
Tickets for the two-day event are on sale now.
General admission tickets are priced at $50, with kids tickets (ages 5-12) available for $15. Children under the age of 5 will gain entry to the event for free. Eventgoers are encouraged to purchase their tickets early, with the cost of all admission levels increasing by $5-$10 on event day. They can be purchased online through PBRTIX.com or by calling (800) 732-1727.
For an enhanced PBR experience in a socially-distanced environment, fans can now purchase the add-on PBR Elite Experience on both Saturday, January 30 and Sunday, January 31 in Okeechobee for $60.
The Elite Experience will include a Q&A session with a select group of the league’s top riders, bullfighters and stock contractors, merchandise voucher, limited edition poster and commemorative lanyard.
For more information on the PBR Elite Experience and other PBR Premium Experience offerings, visit https://pbr.com/tickets/premium-experiences/.
© 2021 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.