It has long been likened to a flying saucer.
But the Fort Worth Convention Center’s arena, built on land once known as “Hell’s Half Acre,” has hosted some of the most significant political and entertainment events in Tarrant County through the years.
On Friday, when Republican front-runner Donald Trump steps on the stage in the historic convention center, he follows in the footsteps of countless others — politicians, entertainers, athletes and more.
Elvis Presley, U2, Johnny Cash and the Rolling Stones all performed there.
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At one point, there was a rodeo hosted at the arena. At another point, a bullfight. It even briefly served as home for the 1970-71 Texas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association.
The arena hosted U.S. stars Andre Agassi and John McEnroe in the 1992 Davis Cup world tennis finals and gymnastics star Nadia Comaneci in the 1979 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
On Friday, Donald Trump is expected to fill the Tarrant County Convention Center arena and talk to supporters to mark his name on the ballot when they head to the polls March 1.
It also is steeped in political history.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford attended a Fort Worth-Tarrant County Bar Association luncheon at the convention center.
More than 30 years later, in 2008, Barack Obama — in the midst of an intense and historic Democratic primary battle with Hillary Clinton — filled the arena to capacity. Thunderous cheers, applause and standing ovations erupted when he entered the arena.
But other presidential candidates from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry have been there as well, not as declared candidates, but for political events such as Republican Party of Texas state conventions in recent years.
Texas’ Democratic Party held its convention there in 2006 and plans to again in 2018.
The Wake Up America Tea Party was hosted there in 2010.
It’s unknown what other political events will be held in this facility on the north end of the Fort Worth Convention Center.
The City Council last year signed off on a plan for a new $450 million multipurpose arena and sports facility at the Will Rogers Complex, planned for the corner of Harley Avenue and Gendy Street in the Cultural District.
Once that is built, the current domed arena may be torn down and replaced, potentially with more ballroom and meeting space.
Trump’s staff booked the arena for his noon rally on Friday to talk about his vision for the country and encourage Texas voters to mark his name on the ballot when they head to the polls March 1.
Since about 1,200 seats in the arena are being renovated, the event is now shifting to the convention center’s exhibit hall — for a standing, rather than seated, event, said Kirk Slaughter, the city’s public events director.
“This will be our last stop in Texas before you cast your ballot so make sure to come join us,” Team Trump said in a statement entitled “Texas, We’re headed your way!” that was sent out Wednesday.
“We are looking forward to another successful event in Texas, and hope you to see you there!”
Doors open at 10 a.m.
Donald Trump rally in Fort Worth
The rally will be at noon Friday at the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St.
To attend, RSVP online through Eventbrite and get a ticket for the free event.