The PBR (Professional Bull Riders) will bring its elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) to Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, for the 9th stop on the elite tour. The Jacksonville Invitational gets underway at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 and at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, March 5.
Fans will be treated to more than two hours of heart-pounding action, showcasing the classic battle of man vs. beast with world-class production, pyrotechnics and rock-n-roll. The PBR last brought a BFTS event to Jacksonville in 2008, but fans of this seaport city are very familiar with the bulls and bull riders of the PBR as the expansion tours, Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour and the Touring Pro Division have had events here.
For the second year in a row, PBR Elite Seats will be available for those wanting a true VIP experience. Located in an exclusive section of the arena immediately next to the chutes and all the action, the PBR Elite Seats are priced at $250 each and will give fans the VIP experience of a lifetime; a pre-event reception with refreshments, backstage tours featuring a PBR 101 presentation, and meet-and-greet with top PBR stars. These seats are also available now.
The Jacksonville event will feature reigning PBR World Champion Cooper Davis (Buna, Texas), along with two-time world champion J.B. Mauney (Mooresville, N.C.); and three-time world champion Silvano Alves (Pilar Do Sul, Brazil). These three will ride alongside young guns like 2016 PBR Rookie of the Year Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana), 2016 PBR World Finals Event Winner Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Oklahoma) and fan favorites 2008 PBR World Champion Guilherme Marchi (Itupeva, Brazil) and 2004 PBR World Champion Mike Lee (Decatur, Texas).
The PBR’s BFTS tour has stopped in Jacksonville a total of five times. Winners for this event are:
2008 – J.B. Mauney
2006 – Justin McBride
2005 – Brian Courson & Justin McBride
2004 – Jody Newberry
2002 – Mike Lee
The Jacksonville Invitational will consist of three rounds of competition with the first two rounds featuring the top 35 bull riders randomly matched against the PBR’s toughest bulls. The scores from the two rides will be combined and the top 15 riders will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round following intermission on Sunday where they will compete with one more bull.
The Jacksonville Invitational will air on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, March 5 at 10 p.m. ET. Fans can also watch each round of competition live on PBR LIVE.
The 2017 Built Ford Tough Series rolls on for its 18-state tour, culminating with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas when the 2017 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who has earned the most PBR world points during the 2017 season, will receive the ultimate bull riding prize – the World Championship belt buckle and $1 million bonus.
The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network 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.
About the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR)
The world’s premier bull riding organization began as a dream of 20 bull riders 23 years ago and is now a global sports phenomenon. PBR broadcasts reach more than half a billion households in 40 nations and territories around the world, and more than 3 million fans attend live events each year. On its elite Built Ford Tough Series, the PBR features the Top 35 bull riders in the world and the top bulls in the business. The televised Built Ford Tough Series, the BlueDEF Tour, the Touring Pro Division and the PBR’s international circuits in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico have paid more than $150 million in earnings to its athletes. Twenty-eight men have earned more than $1 million, including two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney who, with his 2015 PBR World Championship, became bull riding’s first $6 million man and the richest athlete in Western sports history at $6.7 million in career earnings. In May 2015, PBR was acquired by WME | IMG, the global leader in sports, entertainment, media and fashion. For more information on the PBR, go to PBR.com, or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/PBR, Twitter at Twitter.com/PBR, and YouTube at YouTube.com/PBR.