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2017 PBR Built Ford Tough Series Ak-Chin Invitational

March 25, 2017 - 6:45 PM

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For Immediate Release
2017 PBR Built Ford Tough Series Schedule to Buck Off in “Major” Style at Madison Square Garden in NYC 
To Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ March 25-26
Tickets on sale September 21
Glendale, AZ (July 21, 2016) – As the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) 2016 Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) looks to build on its record-setting momentum in the second half of the season beginning in Nashville, Tennessee, at Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 19-20, the ‘Toughest Sport on Dirt’ has announced the cities and dates for the first half of the 2017 BFTS schedule.
The BFTS features the Top 35 bull riding stars in the world and airs weekly throughout the season on CBS and CBS Sports Network.  The series will visit 16 cities in 2017 before its summer break and then continue with 10 events in next season’s second half leading up to the 2017 PBR World Finals in Las Vegas.
The first half of the 2017 season will be highlighted by the following stops:
The season will kick off with a PBR Major at the World’s Most Famous Arena: Madison Square Garden will host the Monster Energy Buck off at the Garden on Jan. 6-8. 2017 will be the 11th consecutive year that the PBR has visited the Big Apple with one of the most popular events on the tour.
Arlington, Texas’, AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, will host the second PBR Major, Iron Cowboy. This event showcases 40 cowboys, the largest field of competitors in the regular BFTS season, and will take place two weeks earlier than usual in 2017, on Saturday, Feb. 18.
Last Cowboy Standing, 2017’s third PBR Major, will once again headline Las Vegas Helldorado Days on May 12-13. With the Vegas Strip as its backdrop, the Last Cowboy Standing will take place outdoors in the Las Vegas Village across the street from the Luxor.
PBR’s west coast swing in the first quarter begins with a debut at Sacramento’s new Golden 1 Center on Jan. 27-29. This will be the PBR’s first three-day competition in the Northern California city. The following weekend, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3-4, the PBR will celebrate its 20th anniversary event at Anaheim’s Honda Center.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center will once again host one of the most popular stops on tour March 31-April 2. Ticket demand in 2016 compelled the PBR to add a day to the stop, and set a PBR attendance record in the state. 
A return to Washington’s Tacoma Dome and Glendale, Arizona’s, Gila River Arena will be two of the 16 stops before the mid-season break.  PBR last competed in the Tacoma Dome in 2014 and in Glendale in 2012. The I-70 cities of Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, will host the world’s best on Feb. 11-12 at the Sprint Center and Feb. 24-26 at Scottrade Center, respectively.
The two oldest events on the BFTS tour, Billings, Montana, (21) and Albuquerque (20), will also be a hot ticket when the PBR returns to the Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings on April 7-9 and takes over the New Mexico Lobos arena, “The Pit,” on March 17-19.
After the PBR’s first ever three-day event in Rosemont, Illinois’, Allstate Arena on Jan. 13-15, Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena will be the third stop of the season on Jan. 21-22. 
"As one of fastest growing sports in the U.S., PBR is focused on striking the best balance between returning to old favorites, visiting cities on both coasts and the mid-west, and exploring opportunities in new towns and venues," said PBR CEO Sean Gleason. "We're looking forward to celebrating the Western lifestyle with exciting PBR events across the country in 2017 and reaching new fans along the way."
Stay tuned to pbr.com for on-sale dates and more event details.
PBR VIP Elite Seat Experience:
~Premium Seating
~Hospitality Reception with hors d'oeuvres, free drink and cash bar
~Photo Opportunity with World Championship Trophy, Flint Rasmussen, and PBR Riders
~Pre-show Tour with PBR Host
~Q&A with PBR Rider – Hear first-hand experiences of riding the best bulls in the World! 
~Tour the Chutes with Stock Contractor and witness the process of preparing a bull for his out
~Memorabilia and Autograph Book
~Souvenir Elite Seat Credential and Lanyard
~PBR 8-Second Program
~Limited Space!


Activities surrounding this weekend include:
Friday March 24 – Official PBR Kick-Off Party:
The official PBR Kick-Off Party and 4th Annual Cowboy Baller Bash at the Roadrunner Restaurant and Saloon starts at 5pm. All ages welcome before 11pm, 21+ thereafter.  PBR bull rider and 2016 World Finals event champion Ryan Dirteater will be on hand, with singer Luke Kaufman performing. For more information visit www.wheretheybuck.com.
Saturday, March 25 – PBR Fan Zone Pre-party at Westgate Entertainment District:
Westgate Entertainment District, right outside the doors to Gila River Arena, will be the site of this FREE PBR fan zone pre-party at 4pm. Guests will be treated to live country music, a live bull, and a beer garden, the proceeds from which will benefit Rider Relief Fund.
Saturday, March 25 & Sunday, March 26 – PBR Ak-Chin Invitational: 
Fans will be able to cheer on 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis, along with PBR Rookies of the year, Jess Lockwood (2016), Kaique Pacheco (2015) and many more.
Lockwood started the seaon by winning the prestigious Monster Energy Buck off at the Garden, and all eyes are on the 19-year old phenom for a possible title run this year. Ticket prices range from $20 to $105, and can be purchased thru PBR Direct at (800)732-1727, the Gila River Arena Box Office, gilariverarena.com or Ticketmaster. The Ak-Chin Invitational will begin at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 and 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, March 26.
To create a full week of faith, family and fun, PBR co-founder Cody Custer and Wickenburg, AZ native will also offer: 
Wednesday, March 22 Aaron Custer Memorial Roping:
Team roping event put on by Cody Custer. Event is open to the public. For more information, contact:  codycuster12@gmail.com. 
Wednesday, March 22 through Friday, March 24 – Danny Custer Memorial Bull Riding / Bull Fighting School:
Future bull riders and bull fighters can join PBR athletes like Ryan Dirteater and Frank Newsome alongside Cody Custer to learn tips, techniques and more at this hands-on training. For more information contact: codycuster12@gmail.com.