PUEBLO, Colo. ― With the start of its 2015 Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) season, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) has decided to launch a long-planned initiative to expand the profile and importance of several key events on its BFTS schedule. The “PBR Majors” will be comprised of four of the highest-profile BFTS events on the schedule and each will be broadcast nationally on CBS.
Similar to horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Majors will take center stage on the BFTS, offering increased world standings points and prize money and unique formats, and feature the top bull riders and bulls of the PBR.
The first PBR Major will be the Iron Cowboy, taking place Feb. 28 at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys. 2015 will mark the PBR’s sixth visit to Arlington, Texas, for the Iron Cowboy event which, this year, will showcase the Top 40 bull riders in the world, riding bull after bull until only the toughest rider remains. The total purse for this event has increased from $150,000 to $250,000, which includes the Bad Boy Mowers Bonus of $100,000 to the event winner. The PBR world points available will be 1-1/2 times more than a regular BFTS event.
On Memorial Day Weekend, Las Vegas will welcome the return of the Last Cowboy Standing, the second PBR Major in the series. Debuting in 2011, the Last Cowboy Standing features the Top 50 PBR riders in the world standings, each striving to be the man who successfully rides the most bulls in one weekend.
For the first time, the Last Cowboy Standing will be an outdoor event this year, taking place at MGM Resorts Village along the Las Vegas Strip. It will be the featured event during the PBR’s Cowboy Spring Break, an outdoor festival with VIP concerts and activities; a destination activity for the holiday weekend. A total prize purse of $250,000 is up for grabs during the Last Cowboy Standing with the winner receiving the guaranteed $100,000 Bad Boy Mowers Bonus. One and one-half times the usual PBR world points are also available.
Nashville, the home of country music, is a fitting place to host the third PBR Major. The PBR has visited Music City 16 times to date and this year will bring a new format, which will be announced at a later date, country stars and night life excitement to the long-standing event.
For nine years the PBR has played Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena, and bucked bulls in Times Square (2010) and on the street corner outside Penn Station (at 33rd and 8th). It is only logical that the PBR’s 2016 stop in New York City at MSG will be added as a PBR Major. It will be the 10th consecutive year that the PBR has visited the Big Apple, which regularly opens a new BFTS season with sell-out crowds over the three-day event weekend. It’s the one time each year that New Yorkers enthusiastically celebrate their “inner cowboy.”
“Every one of the twenty-six regular season Built Ford Tough Series events is a unique sports and entertainment experience and extremely important from a competitive standpoint over the course of a season.” PBR Chief Operating Officer Sean Gleason said. “The four we have targeted as PBR Majors have become special events of their own accord. Increasing the prize money, points and prominence of these events is recognition of the unique characteristics that make them special and must-see events for PBR fans.”
The PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series features the world’s Top 35 bull riders and the fiercest bucking bulls in the country. Twenty-seven events will take place across 19 states in the United States this year, culminating with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas Oct. 21-25 at the Thomas & Mack Center. The best bull riders in the world will compete all season, trying to accumulate the valuable points needed to rise to the top and become the PBR World Champion, a title that comes with a $1 million bonus and the coveted PBR World Champion buckle.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network – the home of the PBR - 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.
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