For the second straight year, PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT) will buck into Jacksonville, Florida and VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena for the Jacksonville Invitational on January 4.
The event, which opens the new season for PBR’s fastest-growing tour, will mark one of two season-launch events for the PWVT with the tour holding an event simultaneously in Oakland, California.
For one night 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. As one of the most exciting live sporting events to witness, the fearless riders of the PBR are eager to bring the only sport that pits a lightweight against a heavyweight in epic 8-second confrontations back to Huntington.
In 2019, Taylor Toves (Stephenville, Texas) captured the first Velocity Tour event win of his career in the Sunshine State, going a flawless 2-for-2 in mid-February. The victory was backed by an 86-point trip aboard Sharky (Cantankerous/Major League Bucking Bulls), and a championship round-winning, 89-point ride on Joker from Florida’s own Deer Prairie Creek Bucking Bulls from Port Charlotte.
Toves’ win in Jacksonville illuminated the importance of the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour to a rider’s career trajectory.
Through the victory, Toves earned an invite the compete on the elite Unleash The Beast in early March in Duluth, Georgia, a catalyst for the Texas cowboy qualifying for what has become a near-consistent seeded position on the premier series, firmly ranked inside the world’s Top 35. He is also now a top-contender for the year’s Rookie of the Year honor.
The 2019 PWVT event in Jacksonville also featured a breakthrough performance from fellow young gun Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas) who used a similar 2-for-2 outing to conclude the stop runner-up. His 8-second efforts were earned atop Time to Shine (Winston Buking Bulls/Melton Bull Co.) for 85 points, and Floridian bovine athlete Sumo (Deer Prairie Creek Bucking Bulls) for 85.5 points.
In similar fashion to Toves, the top-finish in Jacksonville propelled Taylor to a consistent position on the premier series since. Now No. 18 in the world, the 20-year-old is on pace to qualify for the first PBR World Finals of his career.
The bull riding action begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 4 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
All riders will attempt one bull each in Round 1 on Saturday night. The Top 10 will then advance to the championship round where they will attempt one final bull, all in an effort to be crowned the event champion, earning 170 world points and their portion of the $20,000 purse. Additionally, the Jacksonville Invitational event winner will also earn an invite to compete on the elite PBR Unleash The Beast.
Tickets for the event are on sale now, starting at $15. They can be purchased at the Box Office at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena or online at Ticketmaster.com.
About the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour:
The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT) began in 2014 as the premier expansion tour for the PBR. The PWVT, the sport’s fastest-growing tour, brings the excitement and top-levels of cowboy and bovine talent that fans have come to expect from the sport’s leader to cities across the U.S. The tour, which is fully produced and operated by PBR, will visit 32 cities in the 2019 season. Beginning in 2019, RideTV became the television home of the PWVT, also broadcast on the league’s OTT channel RidePass. The PWVT is proudly supported by Pendleton Whisky, Lucas Oil, the United States Border Patrol, Double H Boots, Tickets for Less, Pneu-Dart and the South Point Hotel and Casino.
About SMG Jacksonville:
SMG Jacksonville manages seven sports, entertainment, and convention venues on behalf of the City of Jacksonville. Our beautiful venues include:
- TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Florida-Georgia, the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl and Monster Jam
- Daily’s Place, a 5,500 seat amphitheater with concert programming year-round and an indoor practice facility for the Jacksonville Jaguars
- VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, showplace of such entertainment greats as Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett and home to the Arena Bowl Champions Jacksonville Sharks, the ABA Jacksonville Giants and the Jacksonville IceMen
- The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, home of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and Florida vs FSU Baseball
- The Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, stage to Broadway and music elite like Wicked, James Taylor and Diana Ross; and home of the FSCJ Artist Series and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra
- The Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, a historic renovated train station providing a unique venue for meetings, social events and conventions
- The Ritz Theatre and Museum, located in Jacksonville’s historic African American community of LaVilla, celebrating the artistic culture of African American life in Northeast Florida and the African Diaspora with museum exhibits, concerts, films, lectures, dance and dramatic arts.
Committed to the Jacksonville community, the guests that enjoy our venues and the clients that utilize them, SMG Jacksonville provides the ultimate event experience in Northeast Florida.
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 243 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 19 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information visit www.smgworld.com.