Corpus Christi, Texas (Nov. 19, 2020) – After finishing a historic 2020 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Finals inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas last weekend, the leading Western sports organization is punctuating the year with a ground-breaking event aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas on Saturday, November 21.
PBR Air Force Reserve Cowboys for a Cause is an invitational team event featuring five teams of three cowboys, riding to support military members and their families through a new PBR charity initiative. Money will be donated for reach second the cowboys ride the world’s rankest bulls, with up to $400,000 expected to go to 8 veteran-related charities.
PBR will construct a bull-riding arena on the 872-foot long launch deck on top of the famed aircraft carrier known as “The Blue Ghost,” bringing in 300 tons of dirt and steel and more than 15 miles of copper and fiber optic cables to support the event and television broadcast. Bucking bulls will be brought on board via the ship’s still-functioning aircraft elevator that brought planes up to the flight deck during battle.
Aircraft aboard the ship will be used as set pieces off the dirt. After the bull-riding event, the 300 tons of dirt will be dumped into Corpus Christi Bay to help restore erosion from the recent hurricanes.
PBR was the first major professional sport in North America to return to competition during COVID-19 shutdown (April 25 in Oklahoma), and the first major sport to welcome fans back into indoor arenas (July 10-12 in Sioux Falls.) Since the U.S. shutdown, PBR has safely held 19 event weekends, 12 with fans in attendance. In the recently concluded regular season, PBR on CBS was up +8% vs. 2019 in television viewership, according to Nielsen, while just about every major sport is down, some at historic lows.
PBR will bring its industry-leading COVID-19 protocols to Corpus Christi for the event and host a limited number of ticketed fans.
The first-of-its-kind event supporting military charities will be broadcast on CBS Television Network, Sunday, Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. ET or 5 p.m. ET (check local listings). Additionally, CBS Sports Network will air a special preshow for the special exhibition event on Friday 7 – 8 p.m. ET and on Sunday at 2:30 – 3 p.m. ET.
About PBR (Professional Bull Riders)
PBR is the world’s premier bull riding organization. More than 700 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. PBR’s digital assets include RidePass, 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.
About the USS Lexington
The USS Lexington, nicknamed “The Blue Ghost,” is an Essex-class aircraft carrier built during World War II for the United States Navy. Commissioned in 1943, she set more records than any other Essex Class carrier in the history of naval aviation. The ship was the Navy’s longest-serving working carrier when decommissioned in 1991. During World War II, as part of the Fifth Fleet, the carrier participated in nearly every major operation in the Pacific Theater, spending 21 months in combat. Her planes destroyed 372 enemy aircraft in the air, and 475 more on the ground. She sank or destroyed 300,000 tons of enemy cargo and damaged an additional 600,000 tons. The ship’s guns shot down 15 planes and assisted in downing five more. The Japanese had reported LEXINGTON sunk no less than four times. Yet, each time she returned to fight again, leading the propagandist Tokyo Rose to nickname her “The Blue Ghost.” The name is a tribute to the ship and the crew and air groups serving aboard her. After the war, LEXINGTON was briefly decommissioned (1947-1955). When reactivated, she operated primarily with the Seventh Fleet out of San Diego, California. Although not involved in actual combat, LEXINGTON kept an offshore vigil during tensions in Formosa, Laos, and Cuba. In 1962, she sailed into Pensacola, Florida, and began training operations, eventually being officially designated CVT-16, Navy Training Carrier. Corpus Christi is now the permanent home to this national treasure.
About Operation Homefront
Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, over 90 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.
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