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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bill Vint | PBA Media Relations
Professional Bowlers Association | 719 Second Avenue, Suite 701 | Seattle, WA 98104
Professional Bowling Stars Head to Chicago for GEICO PBA Team Shootout
ESPN-televised summer series at 10pin bowling lounge is first Chicago PBA event in 47 years
CHICAGO (May 6, 2011) – A unique showcase blending the highest level of talent with the hottest trends in the recreational side of the sport will take place over Memorial Day weekend when 20 of the world’s greatest bowlers return to downtown Chicago for a unique team competition at upscale 10pin bowling lounge in the landmark Marina City complex.
The GEICO PBA Team Shootout, the fifth annual PBA Summer Series special event, will result in more than 15 hours of national television on ESPN and ESPN2 over the summer months. It will be the first appearance by PBA players in Chicago proper in 47 years.
“The return of team bowling to the heart of the city where many of the greatest names in bowling history built their careers will present the sport in an entirely new light,” said Professional Bowlers Association Deputy Commissioner Tom Clark.
The GEICO PBA Team Shootout, with the PBA Manufacturers Cup as its ultimate prize, will be conducted in a “boutique” bowling facility that calls House of Blues its next-door-neighbor and includes a Who’s Who list of Chicago celebrities and business leaders among its clients. 10pin bowling lounge has hosted hundreds of special events, including high-profile fundraisers conducted by Chicago Cubs pitching star Kerry Wood, Chicago Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, a Chicago native, among others.
The GEICO PBA Team Shootout will feature four teams of five PBA stars who will compete in a variety of singles, doubles and team matches, earning points toward the PBA Manufacturers Cup for their respective sponsoring companies. It will be the first PBA Tour event held in Chicago since the former Bowlium hosted the 1963 Chicago Coca-Cola Open when the PBA Tour was only five years old.
Reigning PBA Manufacturers Cup winner Storm Products will defend its title against teams representing bowling ball manufacturing rivals Brunswick, Ebonite International and 900 Global. Among the PBA stars who will compete in Chicago are PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J. (Brunswick); newly-named PBA Player of the Year Mika Kovuniemi of Hartland, Mich., and PBA Triple Crown winner Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas (Ebonite International); newly-crowned USBC Queens champion Missy Parkin of Lake Forest, Calif. (the only woman in the competition) and PBA Hall of Famer Brian Voss of Marietta, Ga. (900 Global); and PBA Hall of Famers Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., and Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo. (Storm).
Chicagoland will be represented by four-time PBA Tour champion Sean Rash of Montgomery (Brunswick) and seven-time Tour winner Steve Jaros of Yorkville (900 Global).
The special PBA Summer Series event will get underway with an upscale pro-am program on May 29 when Chicagoland league bowlers will be invited to bowl with PBA stars and Chicago sports celebrities for fun and prizes in a 9-pin no-tap event. Entry fees are $99 for the 2 p.m. squad and $125 for the special 6 p.m. “dinner” squad. Entry fees include free parking. All pro-am bowlers will compete for cash and merchandise prizes. For complete entry details, visit pba.com for a direct-entry link through e-Tix or call 206-654-6003.
The GEICO Team Shootout will feature a series of matches between the company teams on Tuesday and Wednesday lead up to a "Baker format" team stepladder final. In Baker team competition, all five players on each team will bowl two frames each to complete a full game. The winning team will claim the Manufacturers Cup.
Shows will begin on the hour both days, beginning at 1 p.m. A series of 15 30-minute telecasts will recorded for airing on ESPN beginning on June 25, with re-broadcasts airing on ESPN2 beginning on July 9. Admission to all Team Shootout matches will be free.
GEICO PBA TEAM SHOOTOUT FACTS
10pin bowling lounge, 330 N. State St., Chicago, May 29, 31-June 1
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Sunday, May 29
2 p.m. – 9-pin no-tap pro-am squad (entry fee $99)
6 p.m. – 9-pin no-tap pro-am “dinner” squad (entry fee $125)
For entry information, rules and reservations, visit pba.com or call 206-654-6003.
Tuesday, May 31
1-10 p.m. – Eight 30-minute GEICO PBA Team Shootout matches (free admission)
Wednesday, June 1
1-9 p.m. – Seven 30-minute GEICO PBA Team Shootout matches (free admission)
GEICO PBA TEAM SHOOTOUT MANUFACTURERS CUP ROSTERS
Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J. (PBA Hall of Famer and 32-time title winner)
Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio (eight-time TV finalist)
Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill. (four-time PBA title winner including 2007 USBC Masters)
Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis (three-time runner-up)
Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich. (2009 PBA World Champion)
Team Ebonite International
Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas (PBA Triple Crown winner, 2011 PBA World Champion and 13-time titlist)
Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y. (two-time titlist)
Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C. (13-time winner, and former PBA Player and Rookie of the Year)
Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich. (native of Finland; reigning PBA Player of the Year and 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions winner)
Bill O’Neill, Southampton, Pa. (2010 U.S. Open champion and three-time title winner)
Team 900 Global
Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz. (2008 PBA Tournament of Champions winner and two-time titlist)
Missy Parkin, Lake Forest, Calif. (first woman to join PBA and 2011 USBC Queens champion)
Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill. (2005 PBA Tournament of Champions winner and seven-time titlist)
Robert Smith, Hong Kong (2000 U.S. Open champion and seven-time titlist)
Brian Voss, Alpharetta, Ga. (PBA Hall of Famer and 25-time title winner)
Team Storm Products
Jason Belmonte, Australia (2009 PBA Rookie of the Year and first two-handed player to win PBA title)
Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla. (PBA Hall of Famer, Grand Slam winner and 34-time titlist)
Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas (2008-09 PBA Player of the Year and six-time title winner)
Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y. (four-time titlist)
Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo. (PBA Hall of Famer, Triple Crown winner and 35-time champion)
ESPN TELECAST SCHEDULE (all times ET; all shows will re-air on ESPN2)
Saturday, June 25, noon – Four half-hour shows (ESPN)
Sunday, June 26, 4 p.m. – Four half-hour shows (ESPN)
Saturday, July 2, 4 p.m. – Four half-hour shows (ESPN)
Sunday, July 3, 2:30 p.m. – Four half-hour shows (ESPN)
About the PBA
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is an organization of more than 3,800 of the best bowlers from 13 countries who compete in Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour, Regional and Senior Tour events. Nearly one million ESPN viewers watch PBA Tour on Sundays during the tour season and thousands watch PBA activities online by using PBA’s video streaming service, Xtra Frame. PBA sponsors include Bayer, Brunswick, Budweiser, GEICO, Golden Corral, Go RVing, Lumber Liquidators, One A Day Men’s 50+ Multivitamin, Pepsi-Cola, Storm Products and the United States Bowling Congress, among others. For more information, log on to www.pba.com.
About 10pin bowling lounge
10pin redefines the bowling experience by combining retro sport with an upscale lounge. Located adjacent to House of Blues in landmark Marina City, 10pin is 20,000 square feet of high-energy fun. 24 state-of-the art lanes are topped by a 128-foot, high-definition video wall supported by a nightclub quality audio system. Guests can enjoy all the action from plush sofas and intimate seating areas of the lounge or can be served at laneside tables. This cutting edge bowling lounge offers an extensive martini list alongside a collection of small plates featuring innovative American cuisine designed to encourage sharing. 10pin is the preferred venue for Chicago’s top Fortune 500 companies – hosting many private events a year – making it the perfect place to work and play.
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