The Building now known as Billy Bob's Texas was built in 1910 and was once a large open-air barn for housing prize cattle during the Fort Worth Stock Show. In 1936, as a Texas Centennial Project, the...
The Building now known as Billy Bob's Texas was built in 1910 and was once a large open-air barn for housing prize cattle during the Fort Worth Stock Show. In 1936, as a Texas Centennial Project, the building was enclosed by the City of Fort Worth at a cost of $183,500 and the tower added. The "new" structure contained 1257 animal stalls, and a 1200 seat auction ring that is now Billy Bob's Bull Riding arena. The floor of Billy Bob's slopes from the entry toward the showroom stage, making an ideal elevation for concert seating. This slope was originally constructed to allow easy cleaning and runoff from the cattle pens. Livestock events were held here until the stock show moved to the Will Rogers Memorial Complex, in the present downtown area, around 1943. During World War II, the building was used as an airplane factory for the Globe Aircraft Corporation. In the 1950's the building became a department store so large that the stock boys wore roller skates to make their jobs quicker and easier. With 127,000 square feet of space, which is nearly 3 acres inside and 20 acres of parking, for entertainment and events, Billy Bob's has 32 Max individual bar stations, country music's biggest stars, Live Pro Bull Riding and a Texas size dance floor for everyone to enjoy. Billy Bob's Texas opened April 1, 1981 to national attention with Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers as the first performers. Other artists who appeared that first week were Waylon Jennings, Janie Fricke & Willie Nelson. Comparisons to Gilley's located in Houston where the movie "Urban Cowboy" was filmed starring John Travolta were numerous. Gilley's was only 44,000 square feet, less than half the size of Billy Bob's and did not have Live Pro Bull Riding. Our rated capacity is 6028 people at any one time.
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