KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Flint Rasmussen has made some stops in cities across the United States, performing in some of the largest venues the country has to offer. But there’s one stop, in particular, the PBR arena entertainer and the rest of the organization enjoy — the Caterpillar Classic in the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
Rasmussen and the PBR wrapped up their weekend stay in Kansas City on Sunday, where Chase Outlaw took over the World No. 1 slot from Montana sensation Jess Lockwood.
“This city has built a district, the Power and Light District, around this arena. They have concerts, you can look at the lineup of concerts, we come here every year. It’s one of the nicest facilities we’re in all year and one of the most underrated events we do,” said Rasmussen. “The people are great here, the crowd is great, the city is great. We like it. It’s kind of our kind of people. Being Montana guys, a lot of the guys I work with were small-town people. We go to New York and love it, Los Angeles and love it, all those cities, but when you come to a place like Kansas City, it’s our kind of folks. It’s that midwest, we’re in the middle of a city, but it’s country folks for the most part. Heck, it’s bull riding, the greatest show on dirt right here.”
Lockwood, the Volborg, Mont. sensation who captured the 2017 PBR world title, was hoping to make a return in Kansas City but remained out of competition after doctors ruled his broken left collarbone hadn’t healed the way they hoped.
Outlaw took advantage, winning the event on Sunday after a perfect 3-for-3 performance in the Sprint Center, pushing 130 points past Lockwood for the No. 1 ranking.
Saturday night, in front of a packed house, Columbia Falls cowboy Matt Triplett won Round 1 with an 89.75-point ride on Hocus Pocus.
“It’s cool. Jess Lockwood is still hurt, his collarbone didn’t heal like it was supposed to, but Matt Triplett making a run at them. Look out. Montana guys, the 406 coming in strong, coming in hot,” said Rasmussen. “In three weeks we’re in Billings (April 12-14) and it’s the main tour, this is the tour that goes to Billings, so a lot of fun.”
Rasmussen’s trip to Kansas City was perfect timing for the Montana native. The NAIA Division I men’s basketball national tournament has been at Municipal Auditorium Arena, just down the street from the Sprint Center, with a pair of Montana teams competing, including Carroll College and the Fighting Saints’ run to the Fab Four.
“I was in our hotel at breakfast and I looked over and saw a guy with a Carroll College shirt on. Here I am in Kansas City. We had a nice conversation, he has a son playing, guy from Great Falls. It so happened, though, that on Saturday night we were playing at the same time and I couldn’t get to one of their games, but it’s fun, having these great facilities,” Rasmussen said of Municipal Auditorium and the Sprint Center, which has hosted concerts featuring Michael Buble and Justin Timberlake in the past week. “I don’t know if people realize, we’re in (the Sprint Center), there’s the historic gym (Municipal Auditorium Arena) that that tournament is in. I’m rooting for Carroll, the Frontier Conference. Not to sound sportscaster-ish, but the Frontier Conference, what more proof do we need that it’s the greatest conference in the country?”
That statement could certainly be argued after Carroll and Lewis-Clark State battle in half of the national semifinals Monday evening, with one team guaranteed a berth in the national title game on Tuesday. That comes one week after fellow Frontier Conference program Montana Western won the women’s DI national title in Billings behind national player of the year Brianna King and coach of the year Lindsay Woolley.
Rasmussen, a Montana Western alum himself, didn’t shy from his allegiance to Dillon.
“Let’s get something straight: I brag about being a (Montana State) Bobcat fan, but I am a Western alum, I am a Bulldog. Western women win it all, I mean, in Billings. That’s as great as it gets,” said Rasmussen. “I was going to go, I didn’t make it to the game, so I apologize to everybody from Dillon. But I think it’s funny that when Western does really good, you realize, and the town of Billings learned, how many people in Montana went to Western. It’s crazy that, whatever the enrollment is, so many, everywhere I go I have friends that went to Dillon. It’s a great place.”