Have you ever wondered why the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo isn't held at the Fort Worth Stockyards? The answer goes all the way back to 1943.
The first ever stock show was held in the Fort Worth Stockyards in 1896. However a rodeo was not added to the official lineup until 1918.
That's when the new "Northside Coliseum" officially opened for spectators. The building, now known as the "Cowtown Coliseum," was billed as the most opulent and dynamic livestock pavilion in the entire Western Hemisphere. It features huge skylights, flags and lighting.
The first indoor rodeo immediately increased attendance and the opening day show in the new coliseum was the highlight of the year for thousands of people.
The Stock Show & Rodeo was held in the Fort Worth Stockyards until 1942. The show was canceled in 1943 since several of the buildings in the Stockyards were serving as assembly plants for WWII productions. Plus, producers of the show knew attendance would be low with gas rationing in place.
The show resumed in 1944, but several of the buildings in the Stockyards still could not be used. So the Stock Show & Rodeo moved to the Will Rogers Memorial Center, where it is still held to this day.
This year, the "World's Original Indoor Rodeo" will celebrate it's 100th anniversary at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.
After a week of special performance rodeos, the "World's Original Indoor Rodeo" will kick off on Friday January 19.
"Holding the world's first-ever indoor rodeo 100 years ago contributes greatly to the identity and mystique of Fort Worth. It's says a lot about who we are as a community and a city," said Stock Show President and General Manager Brad Barnes in a press release.
The 2018 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo runs from January 12 through February 3.