Dickies Arena Opens in Fort Worth

26 October 2019
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Fort Worth’s newest entertainment venue—Dickies Arena—opens October 26th to expectant onlookers. In addition to hosting concerts, sporting events, and family entertainment, the arena has already been booked to host the 2020 U.S. Gymnastics Championships next summer. But how did this 14,000-seat arena that overlooks the Fort Worth skyline come to be?

In 2014, the citizens of Fort Worth overwhelmingly voted to build Dickies Arena to expand the cultural district and complement the historic Will Rogers Coliseum by incorporating Southwest Art Deco elements and the region’s cowboy culture into the design. Capable of hosting nearly any kind of event, the new multi-purpose arena features unmatched amenities and accommodations to host the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, hockey games, concerts, conventions, and private events.

As one of the most recognizable aspects of the arena, the roof posed a significant design challenge. The roof structure is a vaulted, oval-shaped dome supported by a tension ring along the base and a much smaller compression ring at the apex. Extensive post tensioning on the lower roof level offset the tension ring loads while seven-foot deep post-tensioned transfer elements were integrated into the tension ring to support the roof above and create a column-free environment below.

It was imperative that the roof be an efficient, acoustically sound structure with a flexible rigging system for events. Walter P Moore utilized a custom digital workflow to facilitate complete interoperability between our modeling and analysis programs, which enabled full geometry manipulation of the models throughout the design process. Digital workflows were also leveraged to evaluate over 41 potential rigging configurations to ensure the rigging grid would have enough capacity and flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of events.

Walter P Moore’s efforts to provide efficient, constructible solutions brought the architects’ design and vision to life and allowed for a world-class facility that has some of the best amenities in the country.

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