KENNEWICK, Wash. – For the first time in league history, PBR (Professional Bull Riders) will buck into Kennewick, Washington, welcoming fans to the Toyota Center Sept. 10-11 for the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s PBR Tri-Cities Classic.
For two nights only, some of the best bull riders in the world will battle the sport’s rankest bovine athletes in the ultimate showdown of man vs. beast in one of the most exciting live sporting events to witness.
The PBR Tri-Cities Classic will tentatively mark the first major ticketed, touring event hosted at full capacity inside Toyota Center since the onset of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
While the league has never before stopped in Kennewick, neighboring city Pasco welcomed the developmental Touring Pro Division in both 2009 and 2010. After Chris Newsom (Hammon, Oklahoma) won the inaugural event in 2009, Chon Miranda (Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico) captured the title in PBR’s most recent trip to Pasco in 2010.
Washington is also home to one of the fan-favorite PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour events, with Yakima having welcomed the series from 2015-2017. Those Evergreen State event victors are: Bonner Bolton (2015 – Odessa, Texas); Cody Ford (2016 – Stanfield, Oregon) and Joao Ricardo Vieira (2017 – Itatinga, Brazil). Prior to the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s debut in Yakima in 2015, the city welcomed the league’s Touring Pro Division eight times from 2006-2014.
Adding to the region’s familiarity with world-class Western sports, the Tri-Cities has produced the likes of World Championship-contending bull rider Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington). Hailing from nearby Walla Walla, the 25-year-old has qualified to the PBR World Finals six times, finishing runner-up to the PBR World Championship in 2017.
The Kennewick tour stop will tentatively mark the 19th Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event of the year, with the series first stopping in cities including Greenville, South Carolina; Lexington, Kentucky; Pensacola, Florida and Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Thus far in 2021, the race for the 2021 PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Championship is off to a fierce start; the Top 3 riders in the series standings are separated by a mere 12 points.
Austin Richardson (Stephenville, Texas) currently holds the No. 1 rank after winning one PWVT event and registering two additional Top-10 efforts across four events. The 21-year-old Texan leads No. 2 Paulo Ferreira Lima (Bezerros, Brazil) by a slim 8.67 points, and No. 3 Michael Lane (Tazewell, Virginia) by 11.5 points.
The bull riding action for the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Tri-Cities Classic begins at 8:00 p.m. PDT on Friday, September 10, and at 7:00 p.m. PDT on Saturday, September 11 at the Toyota Center.
On Friday night, all 40 competing riders will attempt one bull each in Round 1. The same 40 riders will then return for Round 2 on Saturday evening. Following Round 2, the Top 10 in the event will then advance to the championship round where each will attempt one final bull, all in an effort to be crowned the event champion.
Tickets for the event go on sale Friday, July 23 at 10:00 a.m. PDT, and start at $15, taxes and fees not included. Tickets can be purchased online at TicketMaster.com or PBR.com, or by calling PBR Customer Service at 1-800-732-1727.
For an enhanced PBR experience, fans can also purchase PBR Elite Experience Add On for $50, which will provide a behind-the-chutes look into the toughest sport on dirt.
The Elite Experience Add On, available on both Sept. 10-11, includes a pre-event question and answer session with PBR stars, commemorative lanyard and post-event photo opportunity in the arena. For more information, contact PBR Direct at 800-732-1727.
Throughout the 2021 season, PBR will continue to commit to providing a safe environment for fans, athletes, employees, and crew by working with its venue partners to implement health and safety protocols for live events while following health guidance from local and state officials.