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Will Rogers Coliseum opened in 1936. Tarrant County authorities opened a convention center that included an arena on the south side of downtown Fort Worth in 1968. Between them, they’ve hosted legends of rodeo, musical icons like The Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley, tennis’s Davis Cup Final, and a pair of minor league hockey champions (one each).

The next generation of Fort Worth arenas will make its debut Friday when Dickies Arena hosts a concert by the band twenty øne piløts. The facility has filled its opening few months with music, basketball, gymnastics, and, of course, January’s Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo.

Pretty much anyone who has visited the Museum District in the last couple of years has seen glimpses of the building rising from a former parking lot. The man in charge of making sure it truly comes to life is President and General Manager Matt Homan. He told me his new property is the nicest entertainment venue he has seen in his career.

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As I note in the video interview that serves as the centerpiece of this post, he seems very amped up about the building and its packed calendar. Enthusiasm from the top is vital to the success of a concern like Dickies Arena. I’ve done work in places whose city-owned buildings did not have that luxury, and they left a lot on the table in terms of customer satisfaction and incoming revenue. You have to have someone who loves the entertainment business, relishes the long hours it demands, and derives satisfaction from booking a lot of events and executing them at a high level. If Homan can bring those qualities to bear, he has a tremendous opportunity to establish a legacy for Fort Worth’s newest arena.

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