A new multipurpose arena in Fort Worth -- dubbed on Tuesday as Dickies Arena -- will host NCAA basketball tournament games in 2022.
Crews held a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of the arena Tuesday, near the Will Rogers Memorial Center. Construction officially began just after this year’s Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
Mayor Betsy Price, introduced as cheerleader in chief, said this ends years of competitive frustration.
“Every time you see a request to host a small convention or athletic competition or a concert that we can’t host, it’s a little frustrating to see them going into Irving and Dallas and all." Price said. "And now we won’t see that."
The new arena is set to become the new home of the stock show when it opens in 2019, but will also host concerts, hockey and basketball events. It will hold 9,300 people for equestrian events, 12,200 for family shows and hockey games, 13,000 for basketball and 14,000 for concerts, according to the arena’s website.
“This is going to bring a variety and level of entertainment to Fort Worth that we haven’t seen in decades," project manager, Ed Bass said.
A list of NCAA tournament host cities released Tuesday includes the new Fort Worth arena for first- and second-round games in 2022. It'll be the first time Fort Worth has been an NCAA tournament site since 1970.
The American Airlines Center in Dallas, which hosted this year’s Women’s Final Four, will host first- and second-round games in the 2021 NCAA tournament.
What had been known simply as the Fort Worth Multipurpose Arena at Will Rogers was officially named Dickies Arena on Tuesday. Dickies, an international work wear company, was established in Fort Worth in 1922.