FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth City Council approved a new management contract for the Cowtown Coliseum in the Stockyards on Tuesday night.
The move could put the weekly rodeos at risk.
The City Council voted unanimously to approve the new agreement, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions about what it means for the future of the historic coliseum.
“It’s such an integral part of our heritage here,” said Mike Mckee, a Fort Worth resident. “It would be tragic to lose that.”
The Friday and Saturday night rodeos at the Cowtown Coliseum may become a thing of the past under new management.
“Losing the rodeo? Nah, that’s what draws the people over here,” said Albert Torres. “This is Cowtown, this is the Stockyards. They’ve got to have that here.”
The City of Fort Worth owns the historic building.
The council voted to hand over control of the day-to-day operations and programming decisions to the Fort Worth Heritage Development Company.
The group is currently working on the Mule Alley Shopping Center, which is right across the street from the coliseum.
Even those who spoke in favor of the new management group at the council meeting asked the council to make sure the rodeo stays a part of the coliseum’s future.
“We all share one thing in common, and that’s the love and concern for the building, which is directly related to the western heritage of our community,” said Don Jury.
Councilman Carlos Flores reiterated that the two independent groups arrived at this decision after years of discussions. He also made the motion to approve the deal, with a provision that western-themed events remain a part of agreement.
The current general manager of the coliseum told CBS 11 he believes the new management group will continue the rodeo, but it may not be every weekend like it is now.
Mayor Betsy Price had previously told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the rodeo may happen just once or twice a month.
She was not at Tuesday night’s meeting.