LINCOLN – For the first time in league history, PBR's (Professional Bull Riders) elite Unleash The Beast will buck into Lincoln, Nebraska, welcoming fans into Pinnacle Bank Arena Oct. 3-4 for the PBR Lincoln Invitational.
The PBR Unleash The Beast event at Pinnacle Bank Arena will abide by the health standards put in place for public gatherings as outlined in the State of Nebraska's Directed Health Measures (DHM). The safety plan was reviewed and approved by the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD).
PBR will follow all local and state health directives, as outlined in the organization's "Be Cowboy Safe" plan for both bull riders and PBR staff. Additionally Pinnacle Bank Arena, part of ASM Global, will be using its "Venue Shield" best practices guide that enhances fan safety protocols. Those protocols for the event include:
- All fans, as well as staff and competitors, will be required to wear face masks inside Pinnacle Bank Arena.
- All Pinnacle Bank Arena staff, in addition to PBR staff, riders and stock contractors will be subject to coronavirus screening. In addition to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-informed screening, all PBR personnel will undergo medical testing for COVID-19 (coronavirus).
- PBR will only sell up to 50% of arena capacity to separate fans.
- All fans will be in POD seating, which increases distancing and minimizes fan crossover when entering and exiting their seats.
- There will be a focus on mobile ticketing.
- Merchandise sales will be limited to best-selling items to reduce lines and encourage speedier transactions.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the venue to promote hand hygiene.
- Increased sanitization of high-contact areas including bathrooms, concourses, concession stands, elevators, and the Innovative Pain and Spine Pinnacle Bank Arena Box Office.
- Pre-wrapped or packaged concessions item, individual packet condiments and packaged utensils along with sealed-container beverages will be available.
The PBR Lincoln Invitational will mark the first ticketed-event at Pinnacle Bank Arena since the mid-March shutdown. In the months since, the venue has held seven graduation ceremonies for local high schools under the oversight of the LLCHD.
The PBR Unleash The Beast event in Lincoln, Nebraska, will replace the previously announced event that had been planned for Oct. 2-3 in Tampa, Florida.
Prior to mass-gathering restrictions implemented due to coronavirus, PBR's Unleash The Beast last competed in front of fans in Little Rock, Ark., at Simmons Bank Arena March 6-7. The sport then held closed events in Duluth, Ga. at Infinite Energy Arena March 14-15, followed by three event weekends in Logan County, Okla., beginning April 25.
On July 10-12, PBR welcomed back fans for the first time in Sioux Falls, S.D. for the playoffs of a special team tournament, the groundbreaking PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, as well as a Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event. In the subsequent weeks, PBR has held fan-attended elite tour events in Bismarck, N.D., Guthrie, Okla., and Salt Lake City, Utah.
While the event will mark the first-ever PBR Unleash The Beast event in Lincoln, the Husker City has welcomed the developmental Touring Pro Division once prior. Visiting the city in 2010, Chance Riley went a perfect 2-for-2 to win the event title.
Historically, the state of Nebraska has hosted four premier series events, all in Omaha.
After Wiley Petersen won the elite tour's debut in the Cornhusker State in 2006, Justin McBride won the event in 2007 en route to his second PBR World Championship.
Most recently, Brian Canter won the Omaha premier series event in back-to-back seasons, dominating in Omaha in both 2008 and 2009.
This season, the PBR Unleash The Beast stop in Lincoln is crucial in the championship race to the PBR World Finals in early November, awarding a gold buckle and million-dollar bonus to the world's best bull rider.
The riders competing in Nebraska are anticipated to be led by current world No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme, along with three-time World Champion Silvano Alves, two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney, 2018 World Champion Kaique Pacheco, and 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis.
The bull riding action for the PBR Lincoln Invitational begins with Round 1 at 6:45 p.m. CDT on Saturday, October 3, concluding with Round 2 and the championship round at 12:45 p.m. CDT on Sunday, October 4. All 35 bull riders will get on one bull each in Round 1 and 2. Following Round 2 on Sunday afternoon, the riders' individual two-round scores will be totaled with the Top 15 advancing to the championship round for one more out and a chance at the event title.
Tickets for the two-day event go on sale Monday, August 31 at 10:00 a.m. CDT and start at $15. They can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, the Pinnacle Bank Arena Box Office or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.
PBR Elite Seats are available for avid fans who want an exclusive VIP experience while enjoying the world's top bull riding circuit. These tickets offer premium seats, a question and answer presentation with some of the top bull riders and stock contractors in the world, a special photo opportunity after the event on the Can-Am Cage, and souvenir credential and lanyard. Social distancing will be practiced at all times throughout the experience.