Professional Bull Riders return to Gila River Arena

Above: Dakota Louis attempts a ride during the first round of the Guthrie Cooper Tires Invitational Unleash The Beast PBR. (Photo by Andy Watson) Experience AZ | 2 hours ago |

The world’s top bull riding athletes and rankest bucking bulls in the business will make their triumphant return to Glendale’s Gila River Arena March 12-14 for the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast Glendale Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires.

While the typical Glendale visit is two days of nonstop action, fans will be treated to three days of bull riding – including two championship rounds – for the first time in the event’s history. With the February 13-14 PBR event in Del Rio, Texas cut short due to inclement weather, the final day of competition from that event, including a regular round and championship round, will be held on Friday night, March 12 in Glendale. Another Unleash The Beast world championship points event will then be held Saturday and Sunday.

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Events like Glendale are pivotal as the new season’s world title race begins to pick up momentum. Fans in the Grand Canyon state are sure to be on the edge of their seats as the ultimate level of competition unfolds before them with the Top 30 bull riders in the world putting it all on the line for much-needed points and a chance at climbing to the top of the 2021 world standings leaderboard.

In 2019, veteran rider Joao Ricardo Vieira did just that in winning his first premier series event since 2016 following two days of non-stop action at Gila River Arena. After going 3-for-3 over the weekend, Vieira earned 460 world points, soaring from the No. 117 spot in the PBR world standings to No. 6.

PBR’s fourth year in Glendale comes on the heels of a pioneering 2020 season in which Professional Bull Riders was the first major professional sport in North America to return to fan-less competition in late April following the COVID-19 (coronavirus) related shutdowns, and the first in the nation to host fans in-arena in July with safety protocols in place.

Gila River Arena deploys VenueShield, ASM Global’s comprehensive and industry-leading reopening program. These protocols and procedures provide the highest level of cleanliness, safety, security, and consumer confidence, in alignment with approvals from local government officials and healthcare experts. VenueShield provides the most advance hygienic safeguards that serve ASM Global’s clients, guests, staff, teams, talent, and all other visitors. All policies are aligned with, and informed by, public health authorities, medical and industry experts.

Gila River Arena requires all guests to pass a health questionnaire in advance of entering the venue. In addition, the venue has put measures into place that eliminate touchpoints including, no longer selling physical tickets, everything must be purchased online and your phone is now your ticket into the event. Parking passes must be purchased online in advance of the event, no bags of any kind are permitted in the venue, concessions can be ordered and paid for from your mobile phone and picked up in an express pickup line, masks must be worn at all times and guests must practice social distancing at all times.

In addition to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) screening, Professional Bull Riders staff and athletes will be required to undergo medical testing for COVID-19 and wear masks.

A full overview of all venue COVID-19 guidelines and protocols, including further information on the mandatory health questionnaire, mask specifications, contactless entry and more can be found HERE.

Tickets for the three-day event go on sale Monday, Feb. 22 and can be purchased by calling PBR at (800) 732-1727, visiting Ticketmaster.com, or by visiting pbr.com. Prices range from $15 to $107, if purchased in advance. The bull riding action begins at 7:45 on Friday, March 12, 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 13 and 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, March 14.

Fans can upgrade their ticket purchase for any night by selecting the “Elite Experience” add-on for $75. This elevated experience includes a $10 concession voucher, a question and answer presentation with some of the top bull riders and stock contractors in the world and souvenir credential and lanyard.

Avid bull riding fans who are looking for an exclusive VIP experience while enjoying the world’s top bull riding circuit can purchase “PBR Elite Seats” for $350. These tickets offer premium seats closest to the chutes, a $10 concession voucher, a question and answer presentation with some of the top bull riders and stock contractors in the world, a special tour of the bucking chutes with a stock contractor and souvenir credential and lanyard. Social distancing will be practiced at all times throughout the experience.

Glendale’s “Elite Experience” and “PBR Elite Seats” can both be purchased by contacting the PBR Customer Service Department at 800-732-1727 or by visiting Ticketmaster.com.

In addition to the ticket packages available, fans can purchase an exclusive behind the scenes experience with the animal athletes of the PBR by signing up for the “Bull Housing Tour” on Saturday morning March 13. This limited capacity experience offers a question and answer presentation with some of the top stock contractors who care for and raise the best bucking bulls in the world as well as a meet and greet with the bovines themselves, collectible book detailing the historic bulls of the PBR and a souvenir credential and lanyard.

The “Bull Housing Tour” is available for $60 per person and can both be purchased by contacting the Professional Bull Riders Customer Service Department at 800-732-1727 or by visiting Ticketmaster.com. Social distancing will be practiced at all times throughout the tour.

Brand new for 2021 is the “Bubbly and Bulls, girl’s night out for Saturday evening. This exclusive experience includes champagne, a behind-the-scenes clinic with some of PBR’s most prestigious stock contractors, bull riders, PBR Talent, a PBR gift bag and more. This can be purchased as an add-on to tickets already purchased for $75 or as a package for $120 with a pre-selected event ticket included. 

PBR fans around the country can take advantage of the Glendale “Travel Package,” a brand-new offer for the 2021 event. This getaway package offers hotel accommodations for two nights (Fri/Sat or Sat/Sun), two tickets for both nights of the competition, two $10 concession vouchers, an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the inter-workings of a PBR event, the exciting Saturday morning “Bull Housing Tour,” a welcome tote and a souvenir credential and lanyard. Available for $1,300, the “Travel Package” is built as the ultimate weekend away in Arizona for two fans and can be purchased by calling PBR. Fans wanting to attend all three nights of the event can upgrade to a $1500 package to add the third night’s tickets and concession voucher.

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