The PBR World Finals bring millions in economic impact to whichever city it lands in — Las Vegas, Arlington and this week, Fort Worth.
The event had long been held in Las Vegas, but during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 moved to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, then back to Vegas in 2021, and then to Fort Worth in 2022 and this year. The finals will return to AT&T in 2024, officials announced May 17.
“We held our first event here in 2010. So it’s been 13 years that we’ve been coming to this stadium. We put 46,000 people in on our biggest one-day event in history,” PBR Commissioner Sean Gleason said during a news conference at AT&T Stadium. “On May 18 and 19, the 2024 world champion will be crowned here, and it’s going to realize a dream that took us 13 years to get here. The biggest championship in Western sports and bull riding is happening right here at AT&T Stadium.”
This week, the 2023 world champion will be crowned at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.
Fort Worth will still play a big role in 2024, with the early rounds of the PBR event being held May 10-13 at Dickies.
Visit Fort Worth estimated last year’s economic impact of the PBR championship at $23 million to the area. Attendance for the first year was about 150,000. Visit Fort Worth expects a $28 million annual economic impact over the course of the three-year contract, the Fort Worth Report previously reported.
Arlington Mayor Jim Ross called PBR’s latest move a win for Tarrant County.
“PBR is a prime example of how we do things better together in Tarrant County. We love our neighbors to the west of us, Fort Worth,” Ross said. “We appreciate everything about what they do because the better Fort Worth does, the better Arlington does and the better Arlington does, the better Fort Worth does.”
AT&T Stadium is best known as the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
“This brings a whole new meaning to, ‘How ‘bout them Cowboys?’ When I grew up, I always wanted to play football professionally, or I wanted to play baseball professionally. I never wanted to ride a damn bull professionally,” Ross said.
Professional bull riders Jose Vitor Leme Daylon Swearingen, Boudreaux Campbell and Bull Woopaa were joined by Dallas Cowboys Josh Ball, Jake Ferguson and Michael Gallup to support the May 17 announcement at the stadium.
AT&T Stadium first hosted the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series in 2010 and for 13 years, the venue has welcomed the bull riders. The ninth consecutive Iron Cowboy Major in Arlington in February 2018 set the sport’s largest single-day event attendance record, welcoming more than 46,000 fans.
“On six weeks’ notice we called our friends the Joneses at AT&T Stadium. And six weeks later, we booked to crown our champion that year, and it started a series of events and conversations. They ultimately led us to the state of Texas,” Gleason said.
Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.