14,000-Seat Arena Planned for Fort Worth Cultural District

Half of the proposed $450 million facility would be paid for by private money

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Fort Worth city council members are set to vote on a measure that would put approval of a planned 14,000-seat arena up to the voters. (Published Wednesday, Aug 6, 2014)

    For the first time, we are seeing the vision behind a proposed $450 million, multipurpose arena in Fort Worth's Cultural District.

    City leaders released a copy of an artist's rendering Wednesday evening of the planned 14,000-seat arena, to be located near the Will Rogers Memorial Center at the southwest corner of Harley Avenue and Gendy Street.

    "It's an incredible opportunity for Fort Worth to step up and achieve the idea of an arena, which has been talked about for 20 years," said Michael Groomer, president and chief financial officer of Event Facilities Fort Worth, Inc.

    The nonprofit, backed by Fort Worth billionaire philanthropist Ed Bass, has promised to pay the first $225 million spent on the project and anything over the estimated $450 million price tag.

    The rest of the money would be public, Groomer said.

    Fort Worth city council members are set to vote next week on a measure that would put potential approval of the plan up to the citizens of Fort Worth in the November election.

    Mayor Betsy Price told NBC 5 ahead of her regular "Rolling Town Hall" bicycling event, held this week in the city's "Stop Six" neighborhood in Council District 5, that the public portion would be paid for by taxes on tickets and revenue earned from the proposed arena.

    Price, with her characteristic enthusiasm, said she is hopeful the facility will lure concerts, sporting events and other large-scale functions away from Dallas.

    "We just didn't have the right-sized arena for them," Price said. "This will keep people here. This will keep a lot more of our young people here. Obviously, they're gonna go to Dallas for some fun things. But this may also draw some Dallas people over here for us."

    The proposed facility would be the largest in Fort Worth, according to the plans.

    If the funding were to be approved by the voters in the fall, Price said it would be realistic to expect the facility to be open within five years.

    The plan also calls for the demolition of the downtown flying saucer-shaped Fort Worth Convention Center Arena, which would then allow for an expansion of the remainder of the convention center facility.