The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) promotion has announced a new team format league which will launch in June 2022.
The Endeavor-owned bull riding circuit’s new PBR Team Series will culminate with playoff and championship events in November next year. Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, also the home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Vegas Golden Knights, will stage the entirety of the PBR Team Series’ postseason.
The series will launch with eight founding franchises competing across a ten-weekend regular season before the playoffs.
Each team will be based in a home market to be named, playing host to an annual bull riding event – likely to run for three days – and Western lifestyle festival.
In addition to the playoffs and championship events in Las Vegas, there will also be two ‘neutral site’ league-produced events.
The PBR Team Series will be televised domestically by CBS and CBS Sports Network, as well as being carried by RidePass on Pluto TV.
PBR said the new format will also see a restructuring of the ‘Unleash The Beast’ individual-competition season, which will run from January to May and see its season finale move to Fort Worth, Texas after 28 years in Vegas. The new series gives PBR a year-round calendar of competition and expands on trials with team formats in recent years.
The new teams, their respective ownership and home city selections will be announced in early 2022. The PBR Team Series will host a player draft prior to the 2022 season, drafting bull riders from any PBR rider member who has declared themselves eligible. The team lottery will be held when PBR visits Madison Square Garden in New York in early January.
Riders and team owners will compete for separate prize pools that will reward team performance at each event and in the final season standings. Rider and team event payouts and season standings will be based on win-loss records and tie-breaks throughout the entire season.
“As we made the most revolutionary changes in our sport’s history with the PBR Team Series, we were hopeful that Las Vegas, which has been home to PBR World Finals for nearly three decades, would be the place where we would crown our champion teams,” said Sean Gleason, PBR’s chief executive and commissioner.
“After so many memorable years of deciding our individual championship in Las Vegas, we are very proud that the city will remain home to an exciting PBR championship weekend.”
Gleason continued: “Adding to an already thrilling sport, recent PBR team format events produced even more rider passion and better competition in an electric atmosphere.
“We anticipate the PBR Team Series will make the riders better, and our sport overall will get better. Fans will have new rooting interests, host cities and home-team partners will deliver new marketing programs, and we will create additional value for every PBR stakeholder.”