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Big Sky rallies around PBR rodeo



BIG SKY – Excitement for the Professional Bull Riding tour’s stop in Big Sky is building, with tickets going on sale June 22. It’s becoming a community effort to pull off this “event of the year,” which is hosted in the Big Sky Town Center.

Since the Big Sky community doesn’t have an arena, the event committee will build the entire arena from scratch, at a substantial cost.

“If not for our sponsors the PBR would not be possible, as ticket sales don’t come close to covering the cost of producing such a large event,” said event co-producer Eric Ladd.

Lead sponsors are Yellowstone Club, Continental Construction and Outlaw Partners. In addition, more than 20 local companies like Town Center, Big Sky Resort and Black Bull have stepped up to make donations. There are also some fun, creative sponsorships including Lone Pine Builders, which is sponsoring a cash bonus for the highest point ride of the evening, and Pure West real estate group, which is sponsoring drink cozies.

“The goal with the PBR is to bring amazing entertainment to Big Sky and truly make this a community event,” Ladd said.

He expects there will be between 1,600 and 2,000 tickets available, and cited the limited number of tickets as the event’s primary dilemma moving forward.

“We estimate that we could sell two to three times the number of tickets if we had bleachers, but without them we will not be able to bring more people to the event.”

The event committee has attempted without success to locate grant money to help purchase bleachers or find rentals. The cost to rent bleachers is over $40 per seat, and the closest rental company is Wisconsin.

This year’s event is attracting national talent, with musician Morgan Frazier playing the pre-party fundraiser on July 31, a show sponsored by the Arts Council of Big Sky. The main event hosted on Aug. 1 will include Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real playing after the rodeo.

The marketing effort for this event will have regional reach, with advertising throughout Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. It’s estimated that the campaign will speak to more than a million people in the next 60 days.

“The reason behind such an aggressive marketing plan is not only to bring awareness to the event, but to showcase Big Sky,” Ladd said. “It’s a vibrant mountain town with great recreation and events.”

Businesses interested in getting involved in the PBR can still do so by calling Outlaw Partners at (406) 995-2055. Music, banner and vendor sponsorships are still available. More information can be found at

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