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Fort Worth Stock Show renovates cattle, poultry barns in $16M project

2019 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo

Jan. 18 through Feb. 9


If something looks new at the 2019 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, well it is.

But then again it isn’t.

As for the fun and entertainment, that remains the same. However, some of the venues in which the fun takes place might seem a little different.

Okay, a lot different.

The Cattle 1 and Poultry barns have recently undergone significant renovation thanks to a public/private partnership between the Stock Show and the City of Fort Worth.

The $16 million project is the second phase of a four-phase program to upgrade and improve the iconic livestock facilities of the Will Rogers Memorial Center. They were built 80 years ago at a price tag of $1.5 million.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Stock Show Chairman Ed Bass participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the re-opening of the remodeled barns.

“A great experience for our Stock Show guests will always be our major priority,” said Brad Barnes, Stock Show president and general manager. “Providing a clean and modern facility to enjoy the show is an important component in that guest experience.”

The Will Rogers hosts a multitude of major equestrian competitions. Adjusted for inflation, the Stock Show has spent more than $60 million in improvements since moving to the city-owned property in 1944. The facility also hosts many other events such as music festivals, consumer trade shows and sporting events.

“The recently renovated portions of the Will Rogers Memorial Center will provide guests with an authentic Fort Worth experience,” Price said. “These improvements combine our traditional Western roots with modern, state-of-the-art elements for facilities that will attract livestock, music and trade enthusiasts from around the world.”

Crews began the project immediately after the 2018 Stock Show closed. They added modern components including insulated roof panels, new wiring and plumbing. The buildings also got wide aisles, larger restrooms and enhanced lighting.

Even the food at the Stock Show is getting a makeover of sorts with the opening of the new Stockman’s Cafe in the Cattle 1 building.

“The customer will have a broader menu selection and a more comfortable dining room to enjoy their meals while they watch Stock Show videos on our large video monitors,” Barnes said. “It will prove to be one of our more popular Stock Show dining destinations.”

The renovation is part of a multi-year project that is expected to exceed $50 million when finished. The cost is being split evenly between the city and the Stock Show.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the adjacent Dickies Arena and 2,200-space parking garage, which are set to open in November, 2019. In 2020 the Stock Show Rodeo will move into the arena, which can seat 9,300 for rodeo performances.

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