WCRA To Bring First $1 Million Rodeo To Chicago
– 2019 $6 MILLION Rodeo SERIES DEBUTS IN THE WINDY CITY One NIGHT ONLY
World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) in collaboration with Professional Bull Riders (PBR) is pleased to announce that Chicago will play host to the first WCRA $1 Million Major Rodeo in the 2019 series. For the first time in history, world-class rodeo will storm Chicago when 81 of the world’s top rodeo athletes will compete in WCRA’s Windy City Roundup at Allstate Arena on Friday, January 11.
The one-night, $1 million rodeo will be held in conjunction with the PBR’s January 12-13 Elite-Tour event, creating a full weekend of western lifestyle sports in one of the world’s largest mainstream markets.
Following the November 15-18 WCRA Semi-Finals at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma, the top nine cowboys and cowgirls in each event will go head-to-head at the Windy City Roundup. Contestants in eight events—bareback riding, women’s breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding—will compete for their piece of the $1 million purse. Athletes in each discipline—including both headers and heelers in the team roping event—will compete for more than $111,000, with the champions walking away with $50,000 each.
“We launched WCRA with a goal to grow the sport of rodeo with large-payout events, greater media exposure, and exposing rodeo to major markets,” said WCRA President Bobby Mote. “This announcement fulfills all of those objectives, and we couldn’t be more excited about exposing our great sport of rodeo, alongside the PBR, in the third-largest market in the U.S.”
A first of its kind, the WCRA Major Event Series will dish out $6 million to contestants in 2019, including four $1 million rodeos. The 2019 series also will feature a $500,000 semi-finals before each major, which will provide an additional $2 million in prize money. Qualifying for this series will be based purely on performance and on series points, rather than dollars won, through a new world-ranking points system.
“PBR is a staple in Chicago, a market known to be passionate about exciting sports. As our Chicago fan base grows, we’ve added a rodeo to our popular signature Windy City event,” said Sean Gleason, CEO, PBR. “We have a successful history of pairing a PBR premier series event with rodeo in places like AT&T Stadium in Dallas, and we believe the concept will work as well in Chicago, where the appetite for western sports continues to grow.”
In early February, PBR and WCRA announced a collaboration to jointly produce, market, and promote rodeo events in an effort to expand television and digital coverage of the sport, build the profiles of the world’s best rodeo athletes, and grow the sport’s fan base. All WCRA events will be broadcast live on RidePass, the definitive source on western sports and lifestyle, which delivers fans the most entertaining, authentic, and accessible western sports experience in the world.
Tickets for the two-day PBR event as well as the Windy City Roundup on Friday, Jan. 11 starting at 7 p.m. go on sale Tuesday, October 30th and start at $10. All tickets for the event can be purchased at Allstate Arena Box Office or by calling Ticketmaster 1-800-745-3000 or going online at Ticketmaster.com. Combination tickets for the WCRA and PBR events will be available through PBR Rewards as well.