Riders and officials are optimistic that this year’s Professional Bull Riders World Finals, which kick off today at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, could be the best in the 15-year history of the event.
Most years, a clear favorite enters the World Finals with a major advantage in points. That’s not the case this year.
Twelve bull riders are still statistically alive for this year’s championship and three — Kody Lostroh, Guilherme Marchi and J.B. Mauney — all are within 1,000 points of each other, which is a very small margin.
The action begins 6 p.m. today and runs through Nov. 8, when the championship round will be held.
With the close competition, this year just one ride could be the difference in winning a championship.
The Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) announced a new partnership with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The partnership will bring two marquis events to Hard Rock’s brand-new venue, “The Joint,” a 4,000 seat entertainment facility which held its Grand Opening in April 2009. Hard Rock Hotel will also be the official host of PBR’s pre-event VIP Parties during the second weekend of the PBR World Finals.
As part of the new partnership, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will play host to PBR’s Next Round Drafts on Friday, October 30, and Thursday, November 5, where the top 40 bull riders will select which bull they will take on during the next round of competition. The hotel will also host two Official PBR After-Parties which will immediately follow the drafts. Both the drafts and After-Parties will be held at the “The Joint,” where legendary musical acts such as Santana, Paul McCartney, Kenny Chesney, and others have played.
PBR and Hard Rock will work together to prepare hotel package promotions for World Finals attendees. Premium “access” items such as special lines or seating areas at After-Parties, drink specials, Meet & Greets, autographed merchandise, and other benefits are being planned for those that choose to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel during their World Finals experience.
The Hard Rock Hotel will also be the official host of VIP Pre-Parties during the second weekend of the World Finals. PBR’s VIP guests will be treated to entertainment and hospitality prior to each night’s performance and then shuttled to and from the hotel. The Hard Rock Hotel is located close to Thomas & Mack arena providing VIP guests with easy access to and from the venue.
The 2009 Built Ford Tough World Finals will showcase the bull riding athletes on in Las Vegas as they vie for more than $3 million in prize money. For the sixth time in its 16-year history, the PBR World Finals will span two consecutive weekends, Oct. 30-Nov 1 and Nov. 5-8. This marquee event represents the crown jewel of bull riding and culminates the 31-city 2009 BFTS tour.