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CEO says PBR remains bullish on Las Vegas

Updated September 5, 2021 - 6:27 am

Anybody believing the Pro Bull Riders had a bone to pick, ax to grind or bridge to burn by moving its championship event from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, better come up with a new idiom.

“The PBR loves Las Vegas. I don’t think the PBR would exist were it not for Las Vegas,” PBR chief executive Sean Gleason said. “They were partners from the first ride. They’ve been the home of our year-end championship for 28 years. We have nothing but love and respect for Vegas.

“The decision should not be viewed as a negative toward Las Vegas. It was about taking advantage of the cowboy renaissance that is going on in Fort Worth.”

Gleason said when last year’s finals switched to the Dallas-Fort Worth area amid COVID restrictions in Nevada, it created an opportunity for the PBR in a locale where the cowboy sports and lifestyle are part of one’s DNA.

The PBR in June entered into a joint venture to operate Cowtown Coliseum at the Fort Worth Stockyards, a venerable arena where Elvis Presley once performed. It was a long-term business opportunity that does not exist in Las Vegas.

“Fort Worth is going through a cowboy renaissance in terms of investment and infrastructure in rebuilding some of the foundation that is the history and heritage of the Old West,” Gleason said. “So to be part of that with the PBR World Finals seemed like a great brand fit and a good decision for our business long term.”

Gleason hopes to bring a new PBR event to Las Vegas in the near future and is excited about this year’s finals at T-Mobile Arena in November.

“I’d say it’s more like a graduation ceremony than a divorce,” he said in characterizing PBR’s evolving relationship with the city.

Robinson powers through Ida

He was the last guy to coach UNLV to a victory in a bowl game — over an SEC team (Arkansas), no less — and it would appear John Robinson hasn’t lost the magic touch.

Robinson, who is a consultant at Louisiana State, said the Tigers sought solace from Hurricane Ida by practicing in Houston for Saturday’s game against UCLA but that his Baton Rouge home escape unscathed.

“Our electricity didn’t even go off,” he told the RJ’s Mark Anderson. “But some people have had bad experiences. The wind and the flood and all that is tough.”

Schlichter released from prison

Former Ohio State and NFL quarterback Art Schlichter, once fired by a Las Vegas radio station for stealing checks to support his gambling addiction, has been released from an Ohio prison. Schlichter was serving time for bilking millions from victims in a college and NFL ticket scheme, according to the Indianapolis Star.

“My advice to anyone coming upon Mr. Schlichter is that they not engage in any business transactions or any purchases or any other transactions that would involve giving him money,” said Ron O’Brien, a former Franklin (Ohio) County prosecutor who fought to keep Schlichter in prison.

One-liners

■ Las Vegas’ Noah Gragson will return for a third season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports, the team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., in 2022.

■ Wyoming accepted its first legal sports bet this week — somebody put down $1.10 on Jacksonville State to cover 16½ points against Alabama-Birmingham, which won 31-0.

■ From the creative promotional minds at Lights FC headquarters: Anybody wearing an A’s or Oakland Raiders jersey to Wednesday’s 7 p.m. soccer match against Oakland Roots SC at Cashman Field gets in free.

0:01

Wednesday was the 21st anniversary of the iconic but rudimentary Nokia 3310 cellphone. You still can get one on eBay for under $20.

Wrote somebody on social media: “I want mine back. You could drop it, kick it, throw it and it still worked. And I did not spend half of my day looking at Bishop Sycamore jokes on Twitter.”

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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