Dickies Arena: Fort Worth’s new convention center set to open in 2019

The city of Fort Worth will receive a new convention center in the next two years: the Dickies Arena.

A crowd of people gathered Tuesday morning near its new location on the corner of Harley Avenue and Gendy Street to hear the exciting news about the new arena coming to Fort Worth.

Below is a slideshow of the renderings and design pictures for the new multipurpose arena.

The Dickies Arena will be a 14,000-seat convention center that will host multiple events such as concerts, sporting events, family entertainment, community events and become a new location for the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in 2020 with the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum still hosting the equine events.

Before the big reveal of the name “Dickies Arena,” the convention center was previously referred to as the “Fort Worth Multipurpose Arena.” It was a project that was in development since its conceptualization by congresswoman and former Fort Worth Mayor Kay Granger, said Ed Bass, chairman of Multipurpose Arena Fort Worth, the not-for-profit managing entity of the new arena.

The concept of the arena was eventually perfected in the early 2000s as a part of the Olympic bidding process with Dallas for the 2012 games.

“What’s surprising to me is how we are, with building today, resembles today that work was done about 15 years ago,” Bass said.

Bass said his managing company, along with the support of the city of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, the state and private-public partnerships, received approval to continue the project from Fort Worth voters in November 2014.

Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price said that she was excited to have the opportunity to make groundbreaking ceremonies happen, but today was “extra special.”

“It’s been planned for a long, long time,” Price said. “It is a state of the art multipurpose arena that will be just phenomenal that we’ll continue to promote Fort Worth and where we are.”

For now, the construction zone is a hole about 10 acres in area and 23 feet deep, with over 275,000 cubic yards of dirt already removed by dozens of semi trucks.

This is where Dickies Arena will be located in relation to Will Rogers:


For sports, Dickies Arena will seat about 13,400 people for sporting events such as the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships in 2020 through 2022 along with the first and second rounds of games for NCAA men’s basketball, making the arena the largest basketball venue in the Fort Worth side of the metroplex.

The lower bowl and suite levels are positioned and “virtually identical” to those in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Bass said. Also, the furthest seats, which will be the upper bowl, will also be in the same position as the Premium Platinum seats for the Dallas Mavericks games.

The seating map for American Airlines Center.
The seating map for American Airlines Center.

Also, the furthest seats, which will be the upper bowl, will also be in the same position as the Premium Platinum seats for the Dallas Mavericks games. In addition, Bass said there will be no nosebleed seats. You can refer to the seating map of American Airlines Center on the right to see how Dickies Arena may be set up.

“The key to this success is not only our first-class facility but for a burst of reputation with with creating a great student-athlete experience,” Bass said.

For concerts, the arena could fill up from 12,500 seats up to the entire 14,000 for people, going head-to-head with the American Airlines Center. The size of Dickies Arena will give Fort Worth a competitive advantage to bid on various events, said Mayor Price.

And, for the rodeo, there will be 50 percent more dirt box seating than before, which are the seats that will be closest to the center of the rodeo. Plus, there will be premium club seating with suites. Overall, Dickies Arena will have a dome edifice with very fine details throughout the convention center.

“This is not a baby arena,” Bass said. “This is the real thing.”


Before the closing of the groundbreaking ceremony, a “mystery guest” was introduced by Bass to the attendees of the ceremony after the Dickies Arena sign was revealed. The guest was no other than chairman and CEO of Dickies, Phillip Williamson.

Dickies has been a long-time sponsor of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, and Williamson said he and the company are committed and passionate about Fort Worth and that they couldn’t be more thankful than to have naming rights for the arena.

“Our customers, employees and their families look forward to attending the stock show every year,” Williamson said. “And, we’re excited to help to provide a state of the art arena that will help define what legendary really means.”

Below is the press release from Williamson-Dickie – the parent company of Dickies – and Multipurpose Arena Fort Worth.

News Release – Partnership Announced_Dickies Release.docx by Hunter Geisel on Scribd

Dickies Arena is scheduled to open in November 2019 and the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo will call the new convention center home the following year.