PREMIER Center to host PBR championship in July, with fans

KELOLAND.com Original
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – PBR (Professional Bull Riders) announced a new televised event that will run from June 5-July 12. 

The competition will begin at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, NV. It will all build up to a championship weekend in Sioux Falls.

“After successfully holding closed events in Oklahoma that utilized a comprehensive wellness and safety plan now being reviewed by other leagues, we have added protocols to provide fans a secure place to enjoy a new exciting team format,” said PBR Commissioner Sean Gleason. “We want to thank our fans for their patience and cooperation, as well as our venue, city and state partners, including Governor Kristi Noem, for collaborating on these measures for bringing this new team tournament in front of fans in an environment they’ll be comfortable in.”

The championship will welcome fans to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center on July 10-12.

“The PBR reached out to corporate, who then told us that the PBR would be calling,” General Manager of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Mike Krweson said. “Sioux Falls is one of the top-selling tour stops for the PBR each year.”

“South Dakota is working to get back to normal, and that includes the return of sports at the proper time,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “South Dakotans have been smart and innovative in responding to this crisis, and the plan for the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center shows that we can reopen arenas in safe and innovative ways. We commend ASM Global and PBR for their careful planning and will continue to work with them to ensure the safety of their fans.”

The PREMIER Center is allowing fans to attend July’s event, but there will be a list of guidelines each spectator needs to follow. 

PREMIER Center Safety Guidelines

  • To increase physical distancing, tickets available to the public for only approximately 35% of the capacity for PBR events at the arena.
  • POD seating that separates fans with a minimum four- to six-foot buffer between ticketed seats and minimizes the potential for crossover for fans entering and exiting their seats.
  • Complimentary facial coverings for fans entering the venue.
  • More efficient “top to bottom” exit following the event to reduce aisle, hallway and exit congregation.
  • Mobile ticketing to replace traditional printed tickets.
  • Increased reliance on cashless, contact free concessions with prepackaged food available for sale.
  • Social distancing guidelines and monitoring at restroom and concession areas.
  • Limiting the number of fans who may enter and occupy restrooms at any time.
  • Regular medical testing/screening for all staff as they enter the venue.

Pod Seating

The PREMIER Center will have spectators in attendance, but they will be sitting a little differently than normal. 

Fans will be in the crowd and watching via pod seating.

“It was actually Ticketmaster’s idea,” Krewson said. “They came up with the idea to encourage social distancing during an event.”

Pod seating is where there are two ‘pods’ in one row. Pods are in groups of two or more people and it allows for the groups to not have to walk around other groups to leave the row.

As of now, the PREMIER Center is hoping to have 35% capacity for July’s event. However, as Sioux Falls continues to lift coronavirus restrictions, Krewson is hopeful for even more fans.

“We are looking at the possibility of 60-65% capacity, which would seat anywhere from 5,500-6,000 people,” Krewson said “We’ve had conversations with the PBR and how the seating map would look. Then we would have to send it to Ticketmaster. We don’t have a full, clear picture, but the number will go up from what was announced on Monday.”

The Process

The process for the PREMIER Center is to work on concerts or events ahead of time, such as 6, 9 or even 12 months.

“I’ve talked to the PBR and I think, once we go down this path and we decide on 60% of capacity, we need to take our line and drive through it,” Krewson said. “We can’t go back and forth and we can’t be wishy-washy.”

Taking the lead

Krewson and the PBR are hoping that the PREMIER Center can lead the way as the first entertainment venue to allow spectators.

“I’ve had many buildings reach out to us across the country who are trying to reopen,” Krewson said. “The PBR was canceled this past April, but this won’t affect next April. It’ll probably just strengthen our relationship with them.”

It’s the beginning of a long road ahead. Krewson says that the process of returning to normal will take a long time and the PREMIER Center can be the tip of the spear.

“We are the tip of the spear, nobody else has done this and the eyes of the industry and of the nation will be on us (Sioux Falls),” Krewson said.

The Challenge

The PBR will begin the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge which will feature 48 of the best bull riders in the world. The riders will split in 12 teams and two divisions.

The teams will face off until two teams remain and those teams will compete for a championship.

The CBS network will carry the events as they are broadcasted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

The teams will play six regular season games in the first four weeks. The teams with the top three records in each division will advance to the playoffs, leaving six teams on the outside of the playoffs.

Each division winner will earn a first-round bye. Championship weekend will feature wild card matchups on Friday. The semi-finals will take place Saturday, with the championship Sunday. 

DayTimePBR Event
Friday, July 107:45 p.m.Quarterfinals
Saturday, July 116:45 p.m.Semi finals
Sunday, July 121:45 p.m.Championship
Schedule for Championship in Sioux Falls

Tickets for this event will go on sale for PBR Rewards members on Monday, May 18 and for the general public on Friday, June 5, and can be purchased on PBR.COM, Ticketmaster.com, and at the KELOLAND box office. Ticket prices start at $15.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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