First Bull Riding Event Met With ‘Great Response’

First Bull Riding Event Met With ‘Great Response’
Tickets are now on sale for the bull riding event set to return to Ocean City in June. Pictured is last year's inaugural event. Submitted image.

OCEAN CITY – The inaugural professional bull riding event in Ocean City last weekend was deemed a success by promoters and many who attended.

Last week, the arena at the Inlet was constructed with truckloads of dirt loaded onto a portion of the Inlet parking lot in advance of the inaugural Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) event in Ocean City. The event, produced by Triple Creek Events, got started with early rounds of the competition last Friday night, followed by more qualifying events on Saturday, culminating with the championship finals during a matinee on Sunday.

While no final details on ticket sales and the gate were available as of mid-week, anecdotally the first-ever bull riding rodeo in Ocean City was a success. Attendance on Friday night appeared to be the lightest of the three days, likely due to the late arrival for many weekend visitors to the resort area. Saturday night’s event was sold out, however, and attendance on Sunday was strong.

However, the VIP area and the temporary general admission bleachers appeared to be full during the Saturday night and Sunday afternoon portions of the event. PBR Vice President and General Manager Robert Simpson said this week the first-ever bull riding event in the resort was a success and said the organization has plans to return to Ocean City in future years.

“With the support of great local partners, for the first time in history we brought the PBR to Ocean City, holding a three-day event that was met with great response by the local community,” he said. “Looking forward, we hope to build upon our great inaugural year, building a staple event for the Ocean City community to look forward to, as we pit the world’s best bulls against the best bull-riders in one of the most scenic event settings, just steps from the Atlantic Ocean, that we compete in all year-long.”

An arena with bleachers was constructed on a portion of the Inlet lot last week with truckloads of dirt hauled in to create an eight-inch surface on which the competition was held. This week, crews were removing the bleachers and the dirt to restore the Inlet lot to its previous condition.

Last month, the Mayor and Council approved a request from Triple Crown for a $75,000 contribution from the town to offset some unanticipated upfront costs to produce the event in exchange for a revenue-sharing plan from the ticket sales. The town contributed the $75,000 in exchange for 10% of the revenue from ticket sales, or $5 per ticket, whichever is greater.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.