(Photo courtesy Professional Bull Riders)

PBR release

BILLINGS – For the 22nd consecutive year, the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) will return to the Rimrock Auto Arena for the Billings Invitational on April 7-9, 2017.

The Top 35 PBR bull riders in the world will once again invade Billings, Montana, the most-visited regular season stop on the BFTS, to go up against the rankest bulls in the nation, as the stars of the PBR vie for their piece of the $140,000 payout.

Tickets for the Billings Invitational start at $17. For a limited time, select seats are being sold at a 15% discount at metrapark.com using promo code GET15.  Tickets can also be purchased at the MetraPark Arena Box Office, all MetraPark outlets or by phone at 406-256-2400.

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The stars of the PBR will face one bull each in Rounds 1 through 3. Immediately following Round 3 on Sunday, the riders’ individual scores will be totaled, and the Top 15 will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title.

This past season, fans at Rimrock Auto Arena saw 2016 PBR Rookie of the Year Jess Lockwood earn the first win of his BFTS career. Lockwood plans to defend his title, competing alongside fellow Montana natives Matt Triplett and Nevada Newman. Current PBR World Champion Cooper Davis, two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney (2013, 2015), three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (2011, 2012, 2014) and 2004 PBR World Champion Mike Lee are scheduled to compete as well.

For an enhanced PBR experience, Montana fans can also purchase PBR Elite Seats, which provide a behind-the-scenes look into the toughest sport on dirt. This once-in-a-lifetime experience includes early entry; tickets to a premium seating section; a catered reception; a 60-minute, backstage tour by a PBR Host, featuring a PBR 101 presentation and visit with the sport’s fiercest bulls; and the opportunity for photos and autographs from the top PBR stars. After the event, PBR Elite Seat ticketholders also will be given premium dirt access, where they can get their complimentary 8 Seconds PBR program, Elite Seat lanyard and other memorabilia autographed by the Top 35 bull riders in the world.

The PBR Elite Seats are available for $300 and also can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by contacting the PBR Customer Service Department at 800-732-1727.

Billings is the 12th stop on the 2017 BFTS schedule. The season will commence in New York City at the world famous Madison Square Garden on Jan. 6-8, 2017 and conclude with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Nov. 1-5, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network and networks around the world. Television viewership for PBR on CBS Sports increased +12 percent in the 2016 season compared to the previous year, according to Nielsen. BFTS telecasts are produced for the PBR under a multi-year agreement with David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 34-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer.