Fort Worth’s new arena will host first- and second-round games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2022, the organization announced Tuesday, the same day officials broke ground for the building in the Cultural District.
The 14,000-seat Dickies Arena is scheduled to open in November 2019. It will be at the intersection of Harley Avenue and Gendy Street and will be the new home of the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo performances and is expected to host concerts, sporting events and family entertainment.
The NCAA also announced that the women’s gymnastics championships will return to Fort Worth in 2019. The Fort Worth Convention Center in downtown will host the 2019 meet and then it will move to Dickies Arena from 2020-2022. Fort Worth hosted the event in 2015 and 2016.
“Fort Worth is a great sports city,” Bob Jameson, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in a news release. “With TCU, this incredible new arena and our incredible Sundance Square downtown, we look forward to rolling out the red carpet for sports fans.”
TCU will be the host for the men’s basketball games, scheduled for March 17-19. The American Airlines Center in Dallas, with the Big 12 hosting, will be the site of first- and second-round games March 15 and 17 in 2018 and March 18 and 20 in 2021.
Schollmaier Arena hosted tournament games in 1969 and 1970.
“This is another testament to the fantastic partnership that TCU has with the City of Fort Worth,” TCU athletics director Chris Del Conte said in a statement. “Now with the new Dickies Arena coming to fruition, Fort Worth is an incredibly attractive host site for many NCAA Championships, which will certainly benefit TCU student-athletes, coaches and fans.”
The NCAA said it received more than 3,000 bids to host championships in Divisions I, II and III from 2017-2022.
But Texas’ proposed bathroom bill legislation could force the NCAA to reconsider. Among the criteria to host is an “adherence to NCAA principles, which include providing an atmosphere that is safe and respects the dignity of all attendees.”
In September, the NCAA pulled seven championships in 2016-17 from North Carolina in response to that state’s bathroom bill. On Tuesday, the state was awarded championship games after it repealed parts of the law.