PBR’s Elite Unleash The Beast Returns to Louisville for First Time in...

PBR’s Elite Unleash The Beast Returns to Louisville for First Time in Eight Years on March 27-28


Tickets for the PBR Louisville Invitational on sale Wednesday, March 3 at 10:00 a.m. EST

For the first time in eight years, PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) elite Unleash The Beast will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, holding the fan-attended PBR Louisville Invitational March 27-28, 2021 at the KFC Yum! Center.

For two nights only, the Top 30 bull riders in the world will battle the sport’s rankest bovine athletes in the ultimate showdown of man vs. beast in one of the most exciting live sporting events to witness. The fearless riders of the PBR are eager to bring back to Louisville the only sport that pits a lightweight against a heavyweight in epic 8-second confrontations. 

PBR will follow all local and state health directives, as outlined in the organization’s “Be Cowboy Safe” plan for both bull riders and PBR staff. Additionally the KFC Yum! Center, part of ASM Global, will be using its ”Venue Shield” best practices guide that enhances fan safety protocols. Those protocols for the event include:

  • All fans, as well as staff and competitors, will be required to wear face masks inside the KFC Yum! Center.
  • All fans, KFC Yum! Center staff, and PBR staff, riders, and stock contractors will be subject to daily temperature checks. In addition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-informed screening, all PBR personnel will also undergo medical testing for COVID-19 (coronavirus).  
  • PBR will only sell a limited number of tickets to separate fans. 
  • All fans will be in POD seating, which increases distancing and minimizes fan crossover when entering and exiting their seats.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the venue to promote hand hygiene.
  • Increased sanitization of high-contact areas including bathrooms, concourses, concession stands, elevators, and handrails.
  • Pre-wrapped or packaged concessions item, individual packet condiments and packaged utensils along with sealed-container beverages will be available.   

While the KFC Yum! Center has hosted more than 20 University of Louisville men’s and women’s basketball games and the 11-game Wade Houston Tip-Off Classic with fans at limited capacity since November 2020, the upcoming PBR Louisville Invitational will mark the venue’s first touring event since the onset of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

In 2013, when the PBR’s premier series was last in Louisville, now 11-time PBR World Finals Qualifier Cody Nance (Paris, Tennessee) was dominant, going a perfect 3-for-3 to capture the event victory.

Having made two additional stops in the Derby City, 1996 PBR World Champion Owen Washburn (Lordsburg, New Mexico) won the elite tour event in 2002, while PBR Co-Founder Adam Carrillo (Stephenville, Texas) claimed the victory in 1999.


The PBR Louisville Invitational will mark the eighth Unleash The Beast event of the 2021 season. Prior to travelling to the Bluegrass State, the top tour in bull riding will have traveled to the like of Fort Worth, Texas, Glendale, Arizona, and Kansas City, Missouri.

With the new season already underway, the race for the 2021 PBR World Championship has gotten off to a feverish start.

Compliments of matching runner-up finishes at the tour stop and associated 15/15 Bucking Battle in Okeechobee, Florida, 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) surged to the world No. 1 rank for the first time in 2021, now leading No. 2 Junior Patrik Souza (Sonora, Brazil) by 130 points.

Recording a Top-10 finish at each of the three tour stops held to date, Davis has also notched two 90-point rides, led by a 91.25-point score aboard YETI World Champion Bull contender Ridin Solo. Chasing history, should Davis win the gold buckle again in 2021, he would become just the seventh multi-time PBR World Champion in league history.

Making history of his own, current world No. 5 Colten Fritzlan (Rifle, Colorado) has also had an electric year to date. Going a perfect 3-for-3 during his first-ever appearance on the elite Unleash The Beast in Okeechobee, Fritzlan became just the 10th rider in league history to win their rookie debut on the premier series. He follows in the footsteps of three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil), reigning PBR World Champion Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil), Australian sensation Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales, Australia) and surging sophomore rider Cole Melancon (Paris, Texas).

The bull riding action for the PBR Louisville Invitational in Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center begins at 6:45 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 27, and at 1:45 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 28. Each of the world’s Top 30 bull riders will get on one bull in Round 1 on Saturday, and Round 2 on Sunday. The 12 bull riders with the top combined ride scores will advance to the championship round on Sunday.

Tickets for the two-day event go on-sale Wednesday, March 3 at 10:00 a.m. EST and start at $15, taxes and fees not included. Positioned closest to the action, and including a Q&A session with top talent from the PBR, Elite Seats will also be available for $350. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com and PBR.com, at the KFC Yum! Center Box Office, or by calling PBR customer service at 1-800-732-1727.

For an enhanced PBR experience in a socially-distanced environment, fans can now purchase the add-on PBR Elite Experience on both Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28 in Louisville.

The Elite Experience, available for $75, will include a Q&A session with a select group of the league’s top riders, bullfighters, and stock contractors, a merchandise voucher, a limited edition poster, and a commemorative lanyard.

For more information on PBR Premium Experiences and to purchase the Elite Experience for the PBR Louisville Invitational in Louisville visit https://pbr.com/tickets/premium-experiences/.