A unique showcase blending the highest levels of bowling 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 PBA event held in Chicago 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 includes the House of Blues as its next-door-neighbor and includes a Who’s Who list of Chicago celebrities 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.
The Team Shootout event will be the first PBA Tour event held in the city of Chicago since the former Bowlium hosted the 1963 Chicago Coca-Cola Open when the PBA Tour was only five years old.
Inaugural 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 leading up to a “Baker format” team final. In Baker team competition, all five players on teach 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 be 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.
WHERE: 10pin bowling lounge, 330 N. State St., Chicago
WHEN: May 29, May 31 and 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)
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.