Big bulls thunder into WesBanco Arena

WHEELING – The “best part of the rodeo” – which translates into how many seconds a human being can sit on the back of a 2,000-pound bull without being tossed off like a rag doll – is in Wheeling today and Saturday, making a stop at WesBanco Arena.

The bull riders, as part of the Professional Bull Riding Velocity Tour, will take center stage and try their best to stay on the one-ton beasts for at least 8 seconds.

WesBanco Arena General Manager Denny Magruder said tickets for the event still are available, but people should not wait until the last minute to get theirs. The show begins at 8 p.m. each night and doors open at 7 p.m.

“Kids like it and so do adults,” Magruder said. “These animals are 2,000 pounds. These are pretty big boys. … We’ve had the rodeo here seven or eight times during the last 30 years. … This is the best part of the rodeo.”

Magruder said the bull riders compete on a circuit, trying to earn points at each competition to keep advancing and earning money.

According to the arena website, more than $130 million in earnings have been paid out to the bull riders by PBR. Twenty-five riders have earned more than $1 million.

While bull riding is known as a dangerous sport, Magruder said officials involved with the show take care in making it as safe as possible for the spectators.