PUEBLO, Colo. — The Professional Bull Riders has added a team competition to the schedule.
The PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge will begin June 5 at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas. The first four weekends will be contested without fans in Las Vegas, according to a PBR news release.
The team competition will not offer individual riders' points toward the world standings, according to a PBR press release.
Jose Vitor Leme is ranked No. 1 in the world standings. Defending world champion Jess Lockwood of Volborg, out with a hamstring injury, is 235 points behind and ranked second. Lockwood is recovering from surgery to repair an injured hamstring.
Championship weekend will be moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where spectators will be allowed at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center July 10-12.
The new addition will produce 40 hours of television to be broadcast on CBS and CBS Sports Network.
The format will be 48 of the circuit's top bull riders split into 12 teams and two divisions. The teams will compete until two squads remain for a championship competition. According to a PBR news release, each evening of competition will feature three "games" with each being a head-to-head matchup of three cowboys from one squad against three riders from another team.
At the ticketed finale, safety protocols will be in place. Included in the precautions will be mobile ticketing, staggered seating, re-routed in-arena traffic flow, social distancing guidelines, enhanced disinfecting, and cashless concessions. There will be complimentary facial coverings for fans when entering the arena. Tickets available to the public will only be issued for approximately 35% of the capacity for PBR events at the venue.
Due to social distancing efforts, and restrictions put in place to aid in flattening the curve of the spread of COVID-19, the most recent PBR stop where fans were in attendance was in Arkansas March 6-7. The PBR has also held one closed-to-fans event in Georgia March 14-15 and three at the Lazy E Arena in Oklahoma.