Council Report: Changes to Cowtown Coliseum agreement under consideration

Cowtown Coliseum


The future of the Cowtown Coliseum is up in the air as the Fort Worth City Council received an informal report on the matter at its Tuesday work session.

The report contained information on the proposed restatement, amendment and assignment of the city’s license agreement with Rodeo Plaza Inc. (RPI) for the management and operation of the historic Coliseum. The city council is expected to vote on the proposed changes at its Dec. 17 regular meeting.

RPI and the city entered into a license agreement in 2002. The current agreement is set to run through 2027, with the city providing a utilities subsidy of approximately $185,000 annually to RPI from the Public Events Department budget.

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In the past few months, however, RPI has been in negotiations with the Fort Worth Heritage Development Co.,(the Majestic/Hickman Partnership) regarding the sale of the RPI assets, based on the contingency that the city would agree to the assignment of the current agreement with a few changes. The Partnership has an ongoing interest in making investments in Cowtown Coliseum to ensure that the future of the Coliseum includes a broad variety of on-brand western entertainment and other programming designed to drive incremental room nights to the Stockyards.

Significant investment is being made by the Partnership in the redevelopment of the Mule Barns and a new four-star hotel.

“We negotiated with Heritage the terms of agreeing to assign and extend the agreement. Heritage is interested in making capital improvements in the building, so we negotiated how the city could potentially do that going forward,” Assistant City Manager Jay Chapa said.

The Partnership is asking that an amended agreement with the city be entered into subject to these terms/changes:

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*Assignment approval by the city council occur no later than Dec. 17.

*The current term of the lease be modified to 15 years with a five-year option to renew.

*The city will no longer be required to provide the annual subsidy.

*Licensee will pay to the city, in arrears, an annual payment equal to 20% of the net profits generated from the operation of the Coliseum.

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*Licensee will make capital improvements to the Coliseum, upon approval by the city, and the city will participate on a 50/50 partnership basis by utilizing net profits as the city


*Licensee will provide the financing for the improvement.

*Licensee will submit an annual business, program and marketing plan for approval by the City.

*The existing non-compete requirement with the Dickies Arena will remain in effect.

*A modification of the licensed property to remove the former mounted patrol facility.

Chapa also said folks need not be concerned about the changes meaning the loss of the Stockyards Rodeo at the Coliseum.

“The Coliseum is required to have western style events and promotions so the rodeo is definitely a part of that,” he said.