FORT WORTH, Tex. (January 6, 2022) – PBR (Professional Bull Riders) today announced that the Ariat Texas Rattlers will represent Dallas-Fort Worth in the PBR Team Series, an elite new league featuring the world’s top bull riders competing in games beginning in June 2022. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the Ariat Texas Rattlers will call Dickies Arena home.
As the official boot sponsor of PBR and a longtime sponsor of notable PBR athletes, including two-time and reigning World Champion Jose Vitor Leme and 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis, Ariat is expanding its presence in the sport as the official title sponsor of a new PBR team, joining seven others in the new league. The Ariat Texas Rattlers are owned by the Fisher Family, who have extensive experience owning and operating professional sports teams in Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.
“We are thrilled to bring a professional bull riding team to Fort Worth, Texas, ‘where the west begins’. We are committed to doing everything we can to give the people of Fort Worth an experience that’s worthy of the toughest cowboys who have called Fort Worth home,” said Mark George, General Manager of the Ariat Texas Rattlers.
The PBR Team Series’ inaugural 10-event regular season will culminate in a team playoff at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas November 4-6, 2022. The league will launch with eight founding teams, each scheduled to host in their respective city an annual bull riding event and western lifestyle festival, building excitement and rooting interests in the sport.
The PBR Team Series event for the Ariat Texas Rattlers at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth will be announced at a later date. Fans can connect with the Ariat Texas Rattlers on social media at @TexasRattlers on Facebook, @TexasRattlers_ on Twitter, @TexasRattlers_ on Instagram, and @TexasRattlers_ on TikTok.
The full PBR Team Series league roster is:
- Ariat Texas Rattlers, based in Fort Worth, Tex., owned by the Fisher family
- Arizona Ridge Riders, based in Glendale, Ariz., owned by Teton Ridge
- Austin Gamblers, based in Austin, Tex., owned by Egon Durban
- Carolina Chaos, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., owned by the league and operated by Richard Childress Racing.
- Kansas City Outlaws, based in Kansas City, Mo., owned by Pulley Outlaws LLC
- Missouri Thunder, based in Ridgedale, Mo., owned by Johnny Morris
- Nashville Stampede, based in Nashville, Tenn., owned by Morris Communications Company
- Oklahoma Freedom, based in Oklahoma City, Okla., owned by the league and operated by Prodigal
There will also be two “neutral site” league-produced regular season events and the season playoff and championship. All PBR Team Series events will be carried on either the CBS Television Network, streaming live on Paramount+, CBS Sports Network or Pluto TV.
The league will host a PBR Team Series rider draft on May 23 prior to start of the 2022 season, among PBR rider members who have declared for the draft during a league eligibility window. To determine team selection order of the athletes, a draft lottery among teams will be held prior to the PBR Unleash The Beast event at Madison Square Garden in New York on Friday, January 7.
The PBR Team Series complements the successful PBR Unleash The Beast premier tour, which held its first championship in 1994 and will now compete in a condensed January – May schedule, with its World Finals held in May in Fort Worth, Texas from May 13-22 at Dickies Arena.
The move of its elite series’ championship weekend to Fort Worth is PBR’s latest expansion in the heart of Cowboy Country.
In June 2021, PBR announced a groundbreaking joint venture with Stockyard Heritage Development Co. and ASM Global in which PBR will help program Cowtown Coliseum and bring dozens of annual western sports and lifestyle events to this iconic venue and the historic Stockyards District.
Boasting a rich history in the Metroplex, the region has played host to many historic PBR moments to date. Among those moments, Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth held the first PBR Unleash The Beast event in 1993, while in 2018, AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington was the site of the highest-attended, single-day event in PBR history, hosting more than 46,000 fans.
Additionally, the prestigious, team-formatted, international PBR Global Cup has twice been held at AT&T Stadium, including the event’s debut on American soil in 2019, and in 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys held the PBR World Finals after the event was relocated from Las Vegas due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions.
“Over the past 29 years, PBR has grown to become a mainstream sport carried by CBS and Pluto TV and packing marquee arenas across the country,” said PBR CEO and Commissioner Sean Gleason. “The incredible lineup of passionate, highly successful owners working with their talented staffs in the new PBR Team Series validates our new league – a transformational addition to the sport that will help take PBR to new levels.”
The PBR Team Series builds on the existing structure of professional bull riding with the same basic rules for judging and scoring qualified 8-second bull rides. Events will be structured in a tournament-style format with all teams competing in head-to-head matchups against a different opponent each day. Each game will feature five riders per team squaring off against another team. Full team rosters will be comprised of seven riders on the core roster and up to three practice squad members. The team with the highest aggregate score of qualified rides among its riders will be declared the winner of each game. The event winner will be the team with the most game wins across an event, with a special bonus round designed as a tie-breaker to determine final event standings.
Team formatted bull-riding events have been growing in popularity since the debut of the PBR Global Cup in 2017, which pitted nation against nation in the name of national pride. The successful event format continued in June and July 2021 with the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol. In addition, PBR has staged multiple Air Force Reserve Cowboys for a Cause team charity events.1