The best rodeo athletes in the world will arrive in Dallas soon for the 2016 Elite Rodeo Athletes (ERA) World Championship, a three-day event taking place on Nov. 11-13 at the American Airlines Center. The Dallas Sports Commission, the City of Dallas and the ERA have worked together to bring 120 of the sport’s top athletes, world champions and emerging stars together in the heart of Texas to compete for the distinction of becoming the first ERA World Champions.
“We are excited to host the inaugural ERA World Championship with the best athletes in rodeo,” said Monica Paul, Executive Director for the Dallas Sports Commission. “We look forward to welcoming fans to our great city as World Championship rodeo returns to Dallas.”
The $1 million 2016 ERA World Championship is the season-ending event of the 2016 ERA Premier Tour where only the world’s best rodeo athletes and livestock compete. After 11 tour stops awarding more than $1.4 million in prize money in its inaugural season, the 2016 ERA Premier Tour culminates with the ERA World Championship which will determine the season’s best in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing.
“The ERA is delighted that the City of Dallas and the Dallas Sports Commission believe in the vision of the ERA, creating a meaningful regular-season tour spotlighting the stars of professional rodeo,” said Bobby Mote, four-time World Champion Bareback Rider and ERA President. “We’re looking forward to celebrating the inaugural season with a great championship event in this wonderful city.”
Only at the ERA World Championship in Dallas will fans be able to see the world’s biggest rodeo stars. Trevor Brazile, the 23-time World Champion; Luke Branquinho, the five-time World Champion Steer Wrestler; Tuf Cooper, the three-time World Champion Tie-Down Roper; Fallon Taylor, the 2014 World Champion Barrel Racer; Derek Begay and Clay O’Brien Cooper, World Champion Team Ropers and more fan favorites will only compete for world championship titles at the ERA World Championship this season.
The leaders in each event going into Dallas are:
Bareback Riding: Steven Dent (Mullen, Nebraska)
Saddle Bronc Riding: Isaac Diaz (Desdemona, Texas)
Bull Riding: Neil Holmes (Houston, Texas)
Steer Wrestling: Tyler Pearson (Louisville, Mississippi)
Tie-Down Roping: Shane Hanchey (Sulphur, Louisiana)
Team Roping: Derek Begay (Seba Dalkai, Arizona) and Clay O’Brien Cooper (Gardnerville, Nevada)
Barrel Racing: Lisa Lockhart (Oelrichs, South Dakota)
The contestant roster for the ERA World Championship represents 130 world titles and will make the November competition the must-see event of the season.
Tickets for the three-day competition start at $31 and can be purchased online at www.Tickemaster.com, by phone at (800) 745-3000, at the American Airlines Center Box Office or Ticketmaster kiosks located inside Fiesta Foods, Macy’s, Walmart, and the Shops at Willow Bend Mall. Tickets subject to additional fees. The competition begins at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11-12 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.
“The American Airlines Center is honored to be hosting the 2016 ERA World Championship,” said Dave Brown, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Center. “We believe the Center will provide a great atmosphere for rodeo fans as the top rodeo athletes in the world compete in Dallas.”
The ERA World Championship week will kick off on Nov. 9-10, with “The Last Chance Qualifier,” a double-qualifying event taking place at Fair Park in Dallas. A partnership between the ERA World Championship and RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN is offering aspiring rodeo athletes a fast track opportunity into the ERA World Championship and THE AMERICAN’s semi-finals, which will be held Feb. 15-17 in Fort Worth, Texas, at Cowtown Coliseum. The Top 2 finishers in each discipline at the Last Chance Qualifier will advance. The Last Chance Qualifier begins at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9 with barrel racing and steer wrestling. The action begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, featuring tie down roping, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding. Each session is free to the general public.
On Thursday, Nov. 10, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will open its doors for the ERA Expo, the ultimate fan experience offering a western shopping mall with 100 vendors, live country music and rodeo action every day. It will be free to the general public and provide plenty of opportunities for fans to meet their favorite cowboys, get autographs and take pictures. Anthony Lucia, the voice of the ERA Premier Tour, will also be on site with his show Live with Lucia for a little “real talk with real cowboys” for fans to enjoy.
For more information about the 2016 ERA World Championship and the ERA Premier Tour, visit www.erarodeo.com.
About ERA: Elite Rodeo Athletes (ERA) is a “League of Champions” where only the world’s best rodeo athletes and livestock compete. ERA is rodeo’s finest and provides rodeo athletes, fans and committees, and the entertainment and rodeo industry an opportunity to experience the most skilled rodeo athletes in the world. ERA is comprised of two tours - the Premier Tour, featuring 87 of the sport’s top athletes, representing 135 world championships, collectively; and the Qualifying Series, offering up-and-coming rodeo talent an opportunity to qualify for the Premier Tour and ultimately the $1 million ERA World Championship on Nov. 11-13 in Dallas, Texas. ERA will payout more than $2.4 million in 2016, including the ERA World Championship. FS2 (FOX Sports 2) will nationally televise 42 hours of ERA programming in 2016, including all 11 regular season events and the ERA World Championship. ERA will have the largest household network audience in all of professional rodeo.