Morris Communications Company-owned team to compete at Bridgestone Arena
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE—January 6, 2022—Professional Bull Riders today announced that the Nashville Stampede, a bull riding team owned by Barrel Horse News’ parent company Morris Communications Company, will represent the Music City in the PBR Team Series, an elite new league featuring the world’s top bull riders competing in games beginning June 2022.
The team owned by Morris Communications Company, whose equine brands include magazines Quarter Horse News, Western Horseman and Barrel Horse News as well as event associations West Coast Barrel Racing Association and the National Barrel Horse Association, will call Bridgestone Arena home, joining the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators, who have played there since 1998.
“Our company is part of a long-standing and growing love affair with the West here in America and around the world,” said MCC chairman and Morris family patriarch Billy Morris. “The western mystique is powerful and getting bigger. It’s something people everywhere want to associate with. This new bull riding league plays right into this phenomenon, and we’re so proud to be a founding team associated with it.”
The PBR Team Series’ inaugural 10-event regular season will culminate in a team playoff at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas from November 4–6. The league will launch with eight founding teams, each scheduled to host in their respective city an annual bull riding event and Western lifestyle festival, building excitement and rooting interests in the sport.
The PBR Team Series event for the Nashville Stampede at Bridgestone Arena in Tennessee will be announced at a later date. Fans can connect with the Nashville Stampede on social media at @NashvilleStampede on Facebook, @Nash_Stampede on Twitter, @NashvilleStampede on Instagram, and @NashvilleStampede on TikTok.
The full PBR Team Series league roster is:
- Ariat Texas Rattlers, based in Fort Worth, Tex., owned by the Fisher family
- Arizona Ridge Riders, based in Glendale, Ariz., owned by Teton Ridge
- Austin Gamblers, based in Austin, Tex., owned by Egon Durban
- Carolina Chaos, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., owned by the league and operated by Richard Childress Racing
- Kansas City Outlaws, based in Kansas City, Mo., owned by Pulley Outlaws LLC
- Missouri Thunder, based in Ridgedale, Mo., owned by Johnny Morris
- Nashville Stampede, based in Nashville, Tenn., owned by Morris Communications Company
- Oklahoma Freedom, based in Oklahoma City, Okla., owned by the league and operated by Prodigal
There will also be two neutral site league-produced regular-season events, the season playoff and championship. All PBR Team Series events will be carried on either the CBS Television Network, streaming live on Paramount+, CBS Sports Network or Pluto TV.
The league will host a PBR Team Series rider draft May 23 prior to the start of the 2022 season among PBR rider members who have declared for the draft during a league eligibility window. To determine team selection order of the athletes, a draft lottery among teams will be held prior to the PBR Unleash The Beast event at Madison Square Garden in New York on January 7.
The PBR Team Series complements the successful PBR Unleash The Beast premier tour, which held its first championship in 1994 and in 2022 will be staged January—May, with its World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, from May 13–22.
Since debuting in Nashville in 1996, the PBR’s premier series has visited Tennessee almost annually with events held in Nashville a combined 22 times.
Of those 22 events, nine have been won by World Champions. In recent history, both Cooper Davis and Jose Vitor Leme used a win in Nashville en route to the PBR World Championship in 2016 and 2021, respectively. In 2021, Leme’s victory in Nashville was one of his eight record-tying event victories. Inside Bridgestone Arena, he also logged two of his record-obliterating 24 90-point rides from the 2021 season.
While Leme and Davis are the lone two riders to win the Nashville event and gold buckle in the same year, 1997 World Champion Michael Gaffney (1996) and three-time World Champion Adriano Moraes (2000) both won the title the year following their victory in Nashville, while two-time World Champion Justin McBride (2002 and 2008) won the event after earning his second championship in 2007.
“Over the past 29 years, PBR has grown to become a mainstream sport carried by CBS and Pluto TV and packing marquee arenas across the country,” PBR CEO and commissioner Sean Gleason said. “The incredible lineup of passionate, highly successful team owners validates the new PBR Team Series league—a transformational addition to the sport that will help take PBR to new levels.”
The PBR Team Series builds on the existing structure of professional bull riding with the same basic rules for judging and scoring qualified 8-second bull rides. Events will be structured in a tournament-style format with all teams competing in head-to-head matchups against a different opponent each day. Each game will feature five riders per team squaring off against another team. Full team rosters will be comprised of seven riders on the core roster and up to three practice squad members. The team with the highest aggregate score of qualified rides among its riders will be declared the winner of each game. The event winner will be the team with the most game wins across an event, with a special bonus round designed as a tie breaker to determine final event standings.
Team-formatted bull riding events have been growing in popularity since the debut of the PBR Global Cup in 2017, which pitted nation against nation in the name of national pride. The successful event format continued in June and July 2021 with the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol. In addition, PBR has staged multiple Air Force Reserve Cowboys for a Cause team charity events.
About Morris Communications Company
Morris Communications Company, LLC is part of a privately held company with diversified holdings in media, real estate, property development and agribusiness. MCC is based in Augusta, Georgia. MCC’s current media holdings include Morris Media Network (MMN) which reaches millions of consumers with diversified content brands in print, digital, products and live events including Western Horseman, Barrel Horse News, Quarter Horse News, Road to the Horse, Equistat, the West Coast Barrel Racing Association and the National Barrel Horse Association. A portfolio of lifestyle publications and digital assets serve outdoor/sporting/travel enthusiasts with Alaska Magazine, Milepost, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Athens Magazine, Augusta Magazine, Charlotte Magazine, Orlando Magazine, Savannah Magazine, Where Visitor publications and more. MCC is proud to add The Nashville Stampede professional bull riding team to its family of brands.
Professional Bull Riders is the world’s premier bull riding organization. More than 500 bull riders compete in more than 200 events annually across the televised PBR Unleash The Beast tour (UTB), which features the top 35 bull riders in the world; the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT); the PBR Touring Pro Division (TPD); and the PBR’s international circuits in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico. In June 2022, PBR will launch PBR Team Series—eight teams of the world’s best bull riders competing for a new championship. The organization’s digital assets include PBR RidePass on Pluto TV, which is home to Western sports. PBR is a subsidiary of IMG, a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media. For more information, visit PBR.com, or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/PBR, Twitter at Twitter.com/PBR, and YouTube at YouTube.com/PBR.