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Cowtown Coliseum

Rodeo Events & Organizations

The Cowtown Coliseum project was initiated in 1907 and completed in 1908, costing $250,000. At that time, it was proclaimed that Texas would host at Fort Worth the largest, most elegant, and perfectly appointed livestock exhibition building in the South, unparalleled in the United States.

The Cowtown Coliseum holds the distinction of being the first indoor coliseum in the United States and has been the venue for numerous pioneering events:

  • 1908: Hosted the first Exhibition Round-up of Cattle ever held under a roof in the United States.
  • 1908: Staged the first Night Horse Show in the United States.
  • 1918: Became the site of the World’s First Indoor Rodeo.
  • 1923: Aired the World’s First live Radio Broadcast of a Rodeo.
  • 1934: Bull Riding was introduced to the world of Rodeo here.
  • 1909: Chief Quanah Parker appeared with 36 Comanche braves.
  • 1911: Theodore Roosevelt addressed an audience of 5,000.
  • 1916: The Russian Ballet performed.
  • 1918: Jess Willard fought an exhibition match.
  • 1918 & 1919: Billy Sunday held six-week revivals.
  • 1919: The Chicago Grand Opera performed.
  • 1920: Enrico Caruso sang to a crowd of 8,000.
  • 1947: Bob Wills performed.
  • 1956: Elvis Presley performed for 7,000.
  • 1979: President Jimmy Carter made an appearance.

Originally the home of the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show, the Cowtown Coliseum has served as a cultural hub for Fort Worth, hosting everyone from presidents to the Russian Ballet in its hallowed halls.

The Coliseum has also been a popular location for movies, television shows, and music videos. George Strait and Billy Dean have filmed music videos here. Films such as “Tough Enough” starring Dennis Quaid and “Pure Country” featuring George Strait have included scenes shot at the Coliseum. Additionally, the CBS TV Show “Walker Texas Ranger” with Chuck Norris has filmed scenes in and around the Coliseum.

Located in the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, the Cowtown Coliseum has a rich history deeply rooted in Rodeo and the West.