Cowtown's Dickies Arena takes shape with $540M price tag

Fort Worth's new Dickies arena rising up

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Cowtown's Dickies Arena has a big price tag at close to $540 million dollars.

The 14,000-seat domed-arena taking shape in Fort Worth's Stock Show area has an even bigger presence, though.

Work is already 20 percent complete on a project that broke ground only nine months ago, according to Dickies Arena General Manager Matt Homan.

"We're moving quickly," he said on Thursday. "We should be done by November of 2019. We're the only arena being constructed right now in North America that has 5,00 seats on this variable ride system, meaning the seats come in and out, and go up and down." 

Homan gave WFAA a close-up look of the entire project on Thursday afternoon. From the air, it's impressive to see 800 workers bustling around the site. 

But from the ground, it's even more so, especially standing on the arena's future "bowl" floor.

"That'll be where the dirt for the rodeo goes, where concert events happen, and where [there are] basketball games and ice hockey games," said Homan.

By next month, the roof of the structure should start to take shape. Crews were preparing the support beams this week.

Right now, four massive cranes tower over the four-level facility, which will eventually have an arena floor, main concourse, suite level and then an "upper" bowl concourse.

Homan said they're taking care to mold the structure's facade in with the immediate area's historic architecture.

"The dome of the structure will emulate Will Rogers, and the brick will be like the rest of the campus," he said.

Councilman Dennis Shingleton, who represents the area, said he's only heard positive reviews so far. He thinks once they iron out how parking will work, neighbors won't have many concerns.

As for that giant price tag? He said it's a good deal considering private enterprise and foundations are picking up more than half of the tab.

"No question about it. No question. This is a great fit for the city," said Shingleton.

The arena is already slated to host some major events like the Stock Show Rodeo beginning in 2020, and the first and seconds rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in 2022.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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