Construction on the city of Fort Worth’s showcase venue, Dickies Arena, is progressing nicely, according to a report to the City Council presented by Susan Alanis of the city manager’s office.
“You can see the massiveness, the size of this complex,” District 7 Council Member Dennis Shingleton said upon seeing a photo presentation.
“The brick facade is starting to be added,” Alanis said.
Alanis said the project is about a third of the way finished. Since the last presentation a few months ago, she noted that a sales center has opened, the parking garage has already been used during the recent Fort Worth Stock Show, and Minority/Business Enterprise participation is at 17.2 percent contracted, above the 15 percent target. Also, a second board meeting has been held with the nonprofit group Multi-Purpose Arena Fort Worth.
“We’re very pleased with where we stand today,” Fort Worth Economic Development Director Robert Sturns said. “Obviously, we continue to work with the team to advance our MBE participation and look forward to the overall completion of the project.”
Alanis added, “Those relationships will resonate going forward.”
Alanis said the project financing zone/state hotel occupancy tax income for the project is performing ahead of the model. The projection for this past year was $1,586 million with an actual intake of $1.822 million, a surplus of $236,000. She added everything is on track for the projected $2.6 million intake in the fiscal year 2018.
Work is also underway on the adjacent Will Rogers Memorial Complex support facilities, she said. This includes beginning of contractor mobilization on Feb. 6 (due to be completed by December) for the cattle barn and poultry barn, along with plans for some HVAC work, and technology advancement. This is a 50/50 partnership with the Stock Show, with $15.5 added to the overall arena debt issue.
The overall cost of the project is projected to be $540 million, with public funding capped at $225 million and no increase in property, sales or hotel occupancy tax rates, or impact to operating funds and debt capacity. A group of private-sector participants (foundations, individuals and organizations) will contribute more than half of the funding as a philanthropic gift, along with funding any added cost enhancements.
The Beck Group is the lead contractor, with HKS the architect of record.
The arena – at the corner of Harley Avenue and Gendy Street – is scheduled to open in November 2019, in time for use during the 2020 Stock Show and Rodeo, supplanting the current venue Will Rogers Coliseum, which will continue to be used for other equestrian events. It is being built not only to serve the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo but also to host concerts, sporting events and community events year round. The venue has already scheduled events such as the NCAA Men’s Basketball first- and second-round games in 2022, and the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships in 2020-2022.
Seating capacity includes:
*Concerts: 12,500 -14,000.
*Family shows and hockey: 12,200.
*Horse shows and rodeo: 9,300.
Alanis said a request for parking services will be presented no later than April, specifically for the Will Rogers campus. Also, by summer, thoughts will be presented on consolidated signs for the area, as well as discussion of collection of taxes once the arena opens.
“It’s very exciting just to know that we’re on the cutting edge of a really cool public/private partnership that’s working,” said District 8 Council Member Kelly Allen Gray.
“Every Fort Worthian can take ownership in what’s going on,” District 6 Council Member Jungus Jordan said. “You can just see the pride.”