The Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour, currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary, announced the creation of the series February 28th which will offer more than $2 million in prize money and will take place from Aug. 1-Sept. 7, 2009 in Detroit.
The kickoff PBA Motor City Open will take place at longtime PBA host center Taylor Lanes in Taylor, Mich., from Aug. 1-6.
The remainder of the World Series of Bowling, including six exempt PBA Tour events, the return of the PBA Women’s Series presented by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and a revamped PBA Senior Tour World Championship will be held at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., just outside Detroit. The World Series of Bowling will culminate with the PBA World Championship open field event, the first major championship of the 2009-2010 season.
The PBA World Series of Bowling will mark the first time the PBA Tour will spend an extended period of time in one city. The event figures to be a financial boon for Detroit with hundreds of competitive bowlers from around the world, including the exempt PBA Tour stars such as Walter Ray Williams Jr., Pete Weber and reigning player of the year Chris Barnes expected to participate. Seven PBA Tour bowling telecasts emanating from the World Series will air on ESPN, bringing further exposure to the city of Detroit.
“The World Series builds on the proud tradition of the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour being the standard in professional bowling worldwide,” said PBA Tour CEO and Commissioner Fred Schreyer. “Detroit will be host to the greatest festival of competitive bowling in history.”
Detroit boasts more USBC certified bowlers than any other city in the U.S. Main host Thunderbowl Lanes is a 90-lane bowling center featuring a unique arena setup for the taping of the ESPN telecasts and continuous online coverage on the PBA Tour’s live streaming video service Xtra Frame on pba.com.
“We are thrilled to host this revolutionary month in PBA Tour history,” said Thunderbowl Lanes owner Tom Strobl. “Detroit’s passionate bowling fans are in for a treat.”
The seven PBA championship events with dedicated telecasts will be taped at the conclusion of the World Series and air over what has traditionally been the first half of the PBA Tour season from mid-October to early December 2009, Sunday afternoons on ESPN. The first half of the season on ESPN will conclude with the live finals of the PBA World Championship on Dec. 13, featuring the four finalists decided in early September at the World Series.
The January-April second half of the PBA Tour season will be similar to the current Tour makeup, featuring live Sunday telecasts. The Tour will travel to at least 10 cities across the country for events, including three major championships (USBC Masters, PBA Tournament of Champions and concluding the regular season with the U.S. Open).
Tournament fields for the PBA Tour World Series will be increased from 64 to 72 players. Along with the 58 exempt players, international exemptions will be introduced and at least 10 tournament qualifying round positions will be available to win per event in Detroit.
The PBA Women’s Series presented by USBC returns with seven events for the 2009-2010 PBA Tour season. Six will take place at the World Series, including all the PBA “animal pattern” championships and a newly created open-field PBA Women’s Series World Championship. The field size for the Women’s Series events will improve from 16 to 20 bowlers for each exempt event, and for the first time two TQR spots will be up for grabs for each women’s event at the World Series.
The PBA Senior World Championship makes its return to the PBA schedule during the World Series. The championship match of the Senior World Championship will be televised, once again bringing senior tour bowling to ESPN.
While the PBA World Series of Bowling includes the greatest bowlers in the world and the ESPN shows are the centerpiece events, there will also be something for every competitive bowler in the form of side events with diverse formats. Some of the side events and sweepers, which will all be conducted by the PBA, will not include exempt PBA Tour pros.
“The message for now to all PBA members and competitive bowlers from the Midwestern U.S. to Malaysia is this,” Schreyer said. “Save August 2009 on your calendar and start practicing.”
Further details will be released on the PBA World Series of Bowling and the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season regularly. Stay tuned to pba.com.