The PBR brings its Celebrate America Tour to JQH Arena Sept. 8-10

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - America’s original extreme sport, the PBR (Professional Bull Riders), will return to Springfield, Missouri, for the 9th consecutive year as Missouri State University’s JQH Arena hosts the PFIWestern.com Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops.

After setting ratings and attendance records in 2016, the second half of the 2017 PBR season is off to a strong start with a robust crop of “young guns” battling determined PBR veterans for important world points. Springfield is the fourth stop on the second half of the Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS), and one of seven remaining events for riders to gain much-needed points toward the world standings to qualify for the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals (Nov. 1-5) in Las Vegas.

Last year, 2016 PBR World Finals event winner Ryan Dirteater won at JQH Arena amidst tough competition. Dirteater will look to defend his title against the sport’s best, including: Missouri-native Mason Lowe; 2015 Rookie of the Year Kaique Pacheco; young guns Derek Kolbaba and Jess Lockwood, who is featured in the current issue of Sports Illustrated; 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis; 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, who notched his historic 600th qualified ride this season and was featured on the cover of Men's Fitness as the world's most fit athlete, and many more.

At one of the most popular stops on PBR’s premier tour, fans will be treated to electrifying, heart-stopping action as the world’s toughest athletes take on the rankest bulls around in vying for the event title. The event begins at 7:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, and continues at 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 9. Championship Sunday will begin at 4:45 p.m. on Sept. 10. Tickets for the three-day event can be purchased at JQH Arena Box Office, PFI Western Store, Missouri State Tix or by calling (417) 836-7678 or PFI Western Store at (417) 889-2668. Prices range from $15 to $110.

Activities surrounding this weekend include:

Friday, Sept. 8:

Before the event:

⦁ Meet and greet, autograph signing and photo opportunities with top bull riders at Price Cutter from 1 to 2 p.m.

⦁ Meet and greet, autograph signing and photo opportunities with top bull riders at PFI Western Store from 3 to 4 p.m.

At JQH Arena:

⦁ Special guest, Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor Mike Parsons, will introduce more than 1,500 FFA (Future Farmers of America) students from more than 37 local schools in partnership with the Missouri Farm Bureau and Phoenix Home Care.

⦁ Retired four-star General Frank J. Grass will be honored as PBR’s ‘Hometown Hero’ during a special opening ceremony. General Grass will be swearing in 15 young men and women from southwest Missouri into the Missouri Army National Guard. It is symbolic that these inductees are following the steps of the highest ranking general to come out of Missouri.

⦁ The final ride of the night will feature a Bounty Bull prize purse. In 2016, PFI Western Store sponsored a $5,000 Bounty Bull. This year, PFI is adding to the competition by sponsoring a $10,000 Bounty Bull. If the rider completes a full 8-second ride on the bull, he will win $5,000 with the remaining $5,000 split between local charitable partners Mercy Kids and Children’s Miracle Network.

Saturday, Sept. 9:

Before the event:

⦁ Meet and greet, autograph signing and photo opportunities with top bull riders at Bass Pro Shops from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

⦁ Meet and greet, autograph signing and photo opportunities with top bull riders at PFI Western Store from 2 to 3 p.m.

At JQH Arena:

⦁ Three-time EMMY award-winning classical crossover, trio vocal group The Texas Tenors will perform the national anthem.

⦁ As the PBR’s premier tour visits 20 U.S. states this year, its season-long Celebrate America initiative honors local heroes, inspires youth and brings together communities across the nation. At the Springfield stop, this will include Governor Eric Greitens, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, in the spotlight for a special and unforgettable opening ceremony.

Sunday, Sept. 10:

Before the event:

⦁ Meet and greet, autograph signing and photo opportunities with top bull riders at PFI Western Store from 10 to 11 a.m.

About the PBR (Professional Bull Riders)

The world’s premier bull riding organization began as a dream of 20 bull riders 24 years ago and is now a global sports phenomenon. On its elite Built Ford Tough Series, the PBR features the Top 35 bull riders in the world and the top bulls in the business. The televised PBR Built Ford Tough Series, the PBR Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour, the PBR Touring Pro Division and the PBR’s international circuits in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico have paid more than $150 million in earnings to its athletes. Thirty bull riders have earned more than $1 million, including two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney who has become the top-earning athlete in Western sports history with more than $7 million in career earnings. In May 2015, PBR was acquired by WME | IMG, a global leader in entertainment, sports and fashion. For more information on the PBR, go to PBR.com, or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/PBR, Twitter at Twitter.com/PBR, and YouTube at YouTube.com/PBR.