After the pandemic forced the PBR to move its World Finals event last year from Las Vegas to Texas, the PBR has decided the lone star state will now be its new permanent home for the PBR World Finals.
The event will relocate from Las Vegas to Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, starting next year. The new PBR regular season will run from January to May and end with a seven-day championship festival in Fort Worth. Terms of the PBR’s move were not disclosed.
PBR commissioner Sean Gleason said the finances of the deal did not have a major impact on the organization’s decision. Instead, Gleason offered it was more about the opportunity to build more fan experiences in Texas.
Talks with Fort Worth began after the move of 2020 PBR World Finals to Arlington, Texas, due to Nevada state restrictions on spectators. It marked the first time in the PBR’s 27-year history that the event was not held in Las Vegas.
“We had the opportunity to host the 2020 PBR World Finals in Texas, and it opened up a series of conversations,” Gleason said in an interview. “And after we went through the opportunity, it is the right one for the PBR to return to the heart of cowboy country for our world finals. Fort Worth has always been an extremely historic and important place for PBR and our history.”
The move comes as no surprise, as the PBR announced in June a joint venture with Stockyards Heritage Development Co. and ASM Global to operate Cowtown Coliseum. The building is owned by the city of Fort Worth. The trio of companies plan to bring new western fan experiences involving sports, music and entertainment to the venue and historic Stockyards District in Fort Worth. The Stockyards District is filled with restaurants, merchandise shops and venues for concerts and festivals, and hosts 4.7 million visitors annually, with the goal of increasing that number to 7 million.
Gleason said the joint venture influenced PBR as they decided whether to move. “It definitely played into the vision when we consider our long term goals and objectives for the city of Fort Worth,” he said. “When we co-manage and co-book a facility, it gives us greater access and flexibility to program all of the events around the PBR World Finals.”
Texas officials are equally excited about the PBR’s move.
“This has been an incredible team effort with PBR, [Texas) Governor [Greg] Abbott, our Fort Worth Sports Commission and so many others,” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said in a release.
The PBR World Finals in Fort Worth will be held from May 13 through May 22, 2022.