The Professional Bull Riders, ASM Global and Stockyard Heritage Development Company have announced a joint venture to operate Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas. Their plan is to expand the district with entertainment programming and marketing partnerships. Cowtown Coliseum’s first event will be the PBR Stockyards Showcase on Friday.
In addition to Western sporting events, the venue will host concerts, live entertainment and other Western lifestyle content. All of the programming will be broadcast across the PBR’s media distribution channels. ASM Global will run the day-to-day operations of the Coliseum, the scheduling of non-PBR events and the development of fan experiences. Stockyards Heritage Development Company will use its real estate and assets within the Fort Worth Stockyard to attempt to create an “unparalleled event and leisure destination” for fans.
“The opportunity for us to create a home base in the center of the cowboy universe, we just couldn’t pass it up,” said PBR commissioner Sean Gleason in an interview. Cowtown Coliseum opened in 1908 and held the first ever indoor rodeo in 1918. Seventy-five years later the venue also hosted the first ever PBR premier series event in 1993. “We challenge our team to not just appeal to the core audience that has been coming to Saturday night rodeo for a long time. We want to bring in a new, younger demographic so we’re going to make products that appeal to them.”
Fort Worth Stockyards currently host 4.7 million visitors annually. A goal of the partnership is to increase that number to 7 million. “Being able to take the gloves off and go full throttle with two amazing partners is great,” said Bob Newman, chairman of ASM, in an interview. “This has all the makings of a very unique, powerful and attractive event-driven destination. The PBR is the best in the business at creating new content, and their fan base is one of the most passionate and dedicated fan bases we’ve ever encountered in the world.”
The announcement from the PBR and ASM Global comes as no surprise; ASM Global hosts more than half of the PBR’s events in ASM’s venues. In March the two companies worked together to become the first pro sports organization to allow spectators at full capacity in an indoor facility in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Said Stockyards Heritage Development Co. managing partner Craig Cavileer in a release: “We are proud to expand on the partnership we have with the City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County on our ongoing developments in the Stockyards to now include PBR and ASM as management, branding and content partners for Cowtown Coliseum and our other assets in the District.” Stockyards Championship Rodeo had paid out more than $45 million to over 200,000 competitors and animal athletes, horses and bulls.
While being featured as a bull riding stop for the league’s Touring Pro Division, the PBR Stockyards Showcase will also include the premiere of PBR Bulls Gone Wild. This is a new, specially formatted bullfighting extravaganza that brings together celebrity guest stars, the world’s best freestyle bullfighters and game show challenges in front of a live audience.
Fort Worth city mayor Betsy Price said in a statement, “As the city of cowboys and culture, there is no better home for this venture than Fort Worth.”