For the first time in 15 years, PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) elite tour, featuring the Top 35 bull riders in the world and rankest bucking bulls in the nation, will invade Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Atlantic City Invitational, the 21st stop on the premier 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast, will buck into Boardwalk Hall for two days of edge-of-your-seat action on September 15-16.
The event will mark just the second time the toughest sport on dirt’s top tour has stopped in The Garden State, last visiting Atlantic City in 2003 when Mike Lee won the event. The next season, Lee captured the top honor in bull riding to win the 2004 PBR World Championship.
The Atlantic City Invitational is crucial in the championship race to the PBR World Finals in early November, awarding a gold buckle and million-dollar bonus to the world’s best bull rider. The riders competing in Atlantic City will be led by reigning PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood, the youngest rider in history to be crowned the planet’s best bull rider at 20. The roster of cowboys is also anticipated to include four additional World Champions, Cooper Davis (2016), J.B. Mauney (2015, 2013), Silvano Alves (2014, 2012, 2011) and Guilherme Marchi (2008), the “Babe Ruth” of PBR with 628 qualified rides. Fan favorites Derek Kolbaba and Ryan Dirteater will also make the journey to America’s Playground, alongside reigning Rookie of the Year Jose Vitor Leme and current rookie standings leader Keyshawn Whitehorse.
Thus far in 2018, fans have watched another fierce race for the world title and million dollar bonus playing out during the tour’s action-packed first half. All expected to ride in Atlantic City, the Top 3 riders in the world standings, No.1 Kaique Pacheco, No. 2 Claudio Montanha Jr. and No. 3 Ramon de Lima, are separated by fewer than 400 points, the number the winner of the Atlantic City Invitational will take home.
“The momentum of bringing world-class events like the PBR to Boardwalk Hall in partnership with Endeavor reinforces the CRDA commitment to attracting new visitors to the destination,” said CRDA Board Chairman Robert Mulcahy.
PBR is a division of the Endeavor network. With its thrilling 8-second bursts of mayhem all night long, the sport is red hot, setting 13 local attendance records thus far this season, and drawing an average of 1 million viewers on CBS.
The bull riding action begins with Round 1 at 6:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 15, concluding with Round 2 and the Championship Round at 1:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 16. All 35 bull riders will get on one bull each in Round 1 and 2. Following Round 2 on Sunday afternoon, the riders’ individual two-round scores will be totaled with the Top 15 advancing to the Championship Round for one more out and a chance at the $30,000 event title.
Tickets for the two-day event go on sale Wednesday, May 23 and start at $10. They can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-854-2196 or online at Ticketmaster.com.
The PBR Elite Seats are for avid bull riding fans who want a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s premier bull riding circuit. These tickets offer premium seats and the VIP experience of a lifetime, including early entry; a catered reception; 60-minute backstage tour by a PBR Host, featuring a PBR 101 presentation and a visit with the sport’s fiercest bulls; and the opportunity for photos and autographs from top PBR stars.
After the event, PBR Elite Seat holders also will be given premium dirt access, where they can get their complimentary 8 Seconds PBR program, Elite Seat lanyard and other memorabilia autographed by the Top 35 bull riders in the world.
The PBR Elite Seats are available for $400 and can be purchased by contacting the PBR Customer Service Department at 800-732-1727.
The Atlantic City Invitational will be the 21st event during the premier series’ 2018 season as the PBR continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The year’s competition will consist of 26 stops, traveling to such cities as Chicago, New York, Anaheim, Calif., and Dallas. It will culminate with the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas on Nov. 7-11 when the 2018 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who earns the most world standings points during the season, will receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and $1 million bonus.
About the PBR (Professional Bull Riders)
The world’s premier bull riding organization began as a dream of 20 bull riders 25 years ago and now operates in five countries. On its elite tour, the organization features the top 35 bull riders in the world and the top bulls in the business. The televised 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast, along with the PBR Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour (RVT), the PBR Touring Pro Division (TPD) and the PBR’s international circuits in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico have paid nearly $184 million in earnings to its athletes. Thirty bull riders have earned more than $1 million, including two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney who is the top-earning athlete in Western sports history with more than $7.2 million in career earnings. PBR is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network. For more information on the PBR, go to PBR.com, or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/PBR, Instagram at Instagram.com/PBR, and YouTube at YouTube.com/PBR.
About the CRDA
The only agency of its kind nationwide, the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents since 1984. Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, the Authority's mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state's key economic development agency for Atlantic City. CRDA's expanded responsibilities now include land use regulation, tourism marketing and clean and safe initiatives. The CRDA also oversees Historic Boardwalk Hall (the leading entertainment venue of its size in the country) and the Atlantic City Convention Center. In total, CRDA has invested nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide, of which $1.8 billion has been invested in Atlantic City, spurring business investments and expansions, and creating permanent jobs in the process. For more information about CRDA and our projects, visit www.njcrda.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/njcrda, and Twitter at www.twitter.com/njcrda.
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