PBR venue moves, expands to accommodate more events
By Sarah Gianelli EBS Senior Editor
BIG SKY – Construction is underway at the site of an expanded and improved events arena in Town Center. Located only 250 yards east and a minute-and-a-half walk from the existing Big Sky PBR arena, the new event space will be able to accommodate 10 percent more spectators. The stands will also be reoriented so that Lone Mountain is the backdrop for the action—for example, at PBR, with all eyes on the bucking chutes, the peak will be in the distance.
A partnership between Town Center, the producers of Big Sky PBR, Outlaw Partners (publisher of EBS), and Continental Construction, the widened arena will allow for bigger events, and more of them, like traditional rodeo competitions with roping and barrel racing, more headliner concerts, and a variety of other events taking place year-round.
“My vision is a permanent outdoor events center in Big Sky that puts our town on the map for regional and national events that attract people from all around the country,” said Outlaw Partners media and events director, Ersin Ozer. “A professional-looking home for Big Sky PBR that rivals event venues around the country. With the possibilities of the new site, not only can we expand Big Sky’s Biggest Week but we can incorporate new events that add value to Town Center and have a positive economic impact on the community year-round.”
The Big Sky Events Arena is still in the beginning phases of construction, but is anticipated to be completed by spring 2019. Currently, the ground is being leveled, graded and trenched for power infrastructure. In September, the Big Sky PBR bleachers will be dismantled at their current location and rebuilt at the new location.
“Town Center and the Simkins have been super generous for letting us use that land and have always been huge supporters and advocates for PBR having a home in Town Center,” Ozer said. “We’re grateful that they’re continuing to work with us on a new site.”
According to Town Center Project Manager Ryan Hamilton, the arena needs to be relocated to accommodate the continued long-term build-out of Big Sky Town Center.
“The relocated arena is the next step in the evolution of the PBR—and possibly other events—in Big Sky,” wrote Bill Simkins, manager of Simkins Holdings, LLC, the master developer of Town Center, in an email to EBS. “And the Town Center is happy to continue to be an integral part of Big Sky’s Biggest Week. The team at Outlaw has done a wonderful job growing the PBR over the years, and their passion and attention to detail definitely shows. It’s hard now to imagine a Big Sky summer without the PBR. Family traditions have now been built around this event, and I think that’s a good measure of success.”
The Big Sky Events Arena will be accessible from Aspen Leaf Drive, and will be located where the road curves down toward the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River.