Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo opens in new home

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo kicked off Friday at its new home: the Dickies Arena.

This is the first year the stock show and rodeo is being held at the newly-built arena, which is right next door to the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum west of Downtown Fort Worth.

Livestock and equestrian competitions, as well as the traditional music and food, make it such a special event. The state-of-the-art facility is sure to be another crowd-pleaser.

Rodeo Communications Manager Matt Brockman anticipates breaking the highest attendance record of 1.2 million people this year with Dickie’s Arena drawing more first-time visitors than ever.

“It connects Fort Worth with the fabric and the mystique of what makes this city so unique,” he said.

Brockman says the show generates more than $250 million in revenue for Fort Worth region.

“It’s big business. It’s big dollars,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s big fun.”

“We are so excited. You know we had our grand opening back in October/November but we fell like this is really the time that we can roll out the red carpet and we can show the city of Fort Worth how ready we are,” said Allissa Cunningham, the communications manager for Dickies Arena.

Dickies Arena has the second-largest continuous video board in the country, which will be great for rodeo replays. It also has a fan zone, a Texas-themed bar and seating area that overlooks the dirt and a wine tent.

When it comes to the food, Dickies Arena will offer unique options at the concession stands like a Cuban sandwich with in-house smoked pulled pork, garlic parmesan fries, jalapeno cheddar sausage on a stick, couscous and dried fruit salad and bacon mac and cheese in a croissant cone.

“The bacon mac and cheese in a croissant cone is hot, fresh, gooey, stick to your ribs kind of fun. It cannot be missed,” said catering manager Julie Margolin.

Some make the trip buy livestock or equipment while others have different priorities.

For Andrew Douglas, the rodeo means a 23-day steady stream of customers in need of a little love for their best boots.

“We just come in and have a good time,” he said. “Eat and enjoy the good food. Enjoy good company. Celebrate. Sing to the kids, and just enjoy life.”

This year’s stock show and rodeo runs through Feb. 8. Dickies Arena is larger than the old Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum but Cunningham said some nights are already close to selling out.

2020 marks the first year with a $1 million prize for the rodeo tournament. That will be divided between eight different events and be awarded on the last day.