It is considered bull riding's most prestigious event and Fort Worth is its new home.
The 2022 Professional Bull Riders World Finals will move to Dickies Arena after spending decades in Las Vegas.
The change goes into effect immediately after the 2021 PBR World Finals in Las Vegas Nov. 3-7. PBR CEO Sean Gleason was joined by several Fort Worth and Tarrant County officials when the announcement was made Tuesday.
"After three decades of success in Las Vegas, why come to Fort Worth? I’d like to say first, without Las Vegas…PBR may not exist. They have been an incredible host," Gleason said. "I have absolutely nothing but love for the city of Las Vegas, but the bottom line is we’re Cowboys. This is Cowtown. This is Texas and if we’re going to have a championship, this is the place for it."
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The new season starts in January and ends in Fort Worth in May. The PBR World Finals in Fort Worth will be held May 13-22 at Dickies Arena, where the event is expected to be action-packed and will span two weekends. The first three rounds of the 2022 PBR World Finals will be held May 13-15, with the final five rounds May 19-22.
PBR has held its annual championship in Las Vegas for years, with the exception of 2020 when the World Finals were held in Arlington due to the pandemic.
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PBR officials and elected leaders in Fort Worth called this move a historic win for the city. It is expected to generate an estimated $28 million for the local economy, according to Visit Fort Worth president and CEO Bob Jameson.
"Here we are with this fabulous arena, Dickies Arena… all of the development that's taking place in the Stockyards with Mule Alley and the Hotel Drover and so, Fort Worth is now poised to host these opportunities in a way we maybe we couldn't before," Jameson said.
In addition to Dickies Arena, World Finals-related events will be spread out across Fort Worth with the Cowtown Coliseum, Fort Worth Convention Center and Will Rogers Complex playing host as well as the PBR Bar at Texas Live! in nearby Arlington.
Jameson says Visit Fort Worth is constantly monitoring COVID-19 trends locally. If all goes according to plan, he says welcoming an event of PBR's size could be a big help in terms of tourism recovery.
Tourism is a $2.5 billion business in Fort Worth and one of the city's largest employers, Jameson said.
"It’s certainly another major step forward as we try to move past the impact of the pandemic," he said. "We have seen visitation in this community. We’ve seen hotel occupancies growing faster than other communities, which speaks a lot to this city and it’s vitality."
Restaurant owner Adam Jones is one of many business owners who had to pivot and adjust during the early months of the pandemic. Jones owns Grace and Little Red Wasp and both are currently doing well, he said. Though there is some uncertainty, he added any big events could be helpful to business.
"There’s still a virus out there. We need to be vigilant, get our shots, do our things but in the meantime, lets take care of our public, let’s keep our employees safe, our guests safe," he said. "Let’s serve some food and drink."
The 2023 PBR season will span from November to May.