In 2014, the citizens of Fort Worth, Texas voted to approve the construction of a new venue—one capable of hosting nearly any kind of event while expanding the cultural district and complimenting the historic Will Rogers Coliseum. Now complete, the 715,000sf Dickies Arena realizes this vision. The new 14,000-seat multi-purpose arena features unmatched amenities and accommodations to host the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, hockey games, concerts, conventions and private events.
Serving as the most visible aspect of the arena, the 280’ by 420’ clear span roof posed a significant design challenge to structural engineer Walter P Moore. It was imperative that the roof be an efficient and acoustically-sound structure so the audience can enjoy all performances. The solution to this challenge is a vaulted, oval-shaped dome with a specialty 9 ¼” roof deck that has exceptional acoustical properties to promote a light-weight, visually appealing architectural structure and eliminate the need for acoustic panels. The roof structure is supported by a perimeter tension ring around the base and a much smaller compression ring at the apex. We used 2,000 kips of post-tensioning on the concrete lower roof level works to offset the tension ring loads to create a column-free environment below.
A further challenge to the roof design was to create a column-free space while also providing a robust, accessible, and flexible rigging system that can support the lighting and sound systems imposed by a myriad of event types. Walter P Moore utilized a custom digital workflow to facilitate interoperability between our modeling and analysis programs. These digital workflows were leveraged to evaluate hundreds of thousands of potential rigging configurations to ensure the rigging grid would have enough capacity and flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of events.
It was vital to the architects to create a one-of-a-kind, intimate atmosphere that will be different than any other rodeo venue. In the seating bowl, our team was asked to shorten the floor-to-floor height to provide a more intimate experience and provide better sight lines for fans. In response, Walter P Moore inverted the conventional framing layout, upturning major beams which we then integrated into the suite elements to serve as a natural divider. This creative structural solution optimized the available space, contributing to the overall intimacy of the arena making the most of the available space. We also pulled the north and south clubs into the bowl to allow patrons to experience the premium amenities of the clubs without leaving the event.
Now an icon in the Fort Worth area, Dickies Arena will host major events such as the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, hockey games, festivals and more. Walter P Moore’s efficient, constructible solutions brought the architects’ vision to life, creating a world-class facility that boasts some of the best amenities in the country.