By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) is one of just a handful of sporting events going on around the country. Most of the country, in terms of sports, has been shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.
This weekend, the PBR is hosting an event at the Infinite Energy Arena for the Gwinnett Invitational in Duluth, Georgia. Not only will there not be fans in attendance, this event is being worked by a skeleton crew.
Normally, there will be 12,000 people in attendance at this event. However, due to the pandemic that’s going on in this country and around the world, the PBR will be attempting to do something that the UFC is currently dealing with in their Brasilia, Brazil show, live on ESPN.
This PBR show will be live on Saturday night beginning at 7 pm on CBS Sports Network. Then again on Sunday, they will also be live on the network at noon EST. Besides being live on CBS Sports Network, the show will also be live on RidePass, the PBR’s subscription live program.
“My philosophy in calling the event is that I have to captain the ship,” PBR on CBS play-by-play announcer Craig Hummer said. “The best thing I can do is keep it as factual and sports-related as possible. My job is to keep us on point. I’m doing my best to remove myself from what’s going on outside the arena walls.
“I have to be a student and a steward at the exact same time. Those are two different things, but equally important. The steward in me recognizes the gravity of the situation and will treat [it] as such. I don’t think I need to draw more attention that nobody is in the stands. We are going to get down to the business of bull riding and call what we anticipate is going to be a very exciting event.”
All nonessential employees are not allowed inside the arena, according to the PBR. Also, there are Health Screenings in place with CDC guidelines in order to protect everyone in the building.
The PBR has created a barrier to keep the judges, production, riders, and the TV crew all separated from each other. Also, the riders will have to make a decision: either participate or not, as it is now voluntary.
There are six different locker rooms that have been set up to keep the riders safe from each other.
“This special event will hopefully offer fans a respite at the end of an unprecedented week,” PBR CEO Sean Gleason said. “We are taking necessary safety precautions. Everyone will see a PBR event exactly as its done every week without fans in the stands.”
Flint Rausmussen, the PBR’s clown and official entertainer, will be there, but he will not be wearing his signature makeup. He will also serve as a special commentator for the video stream.
He was supposed to sing the national anthem. However, that has been scratched and instead, it’ll be played through the speakers.
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