Fort Worth’s historic Will Rogers Memorial Center will receive an $8.5 million renovation project.

Fort Worth City Council members approved the allocation of $7.87 million from the American Rescue Plan Act Revenue Recovery funds toward the coliseum’s renovations during the Feb. 14 meeting.

The project will focus on renovating the coliseum’s concourse, grand lobby entrance, restrooms and Backstage Club. The concourse, which was last renovated in the 1970s, will receive new flooring, ceiling tiles, energy-efficient lighting, water-saving restroom fixtures, wayfinding signage and decorative upgrades. The Backstage Club is a restaurant that overlooks the arena on the second floor.

The Will Rogers Coliseum was built in 1936 and is known for its equestrian and livestock shows. The Coliseum’s concourse supports concessions and product vendors, while the arena hosts more than 30 equestrian events each year, consisting of 260 event days. According to city data, the combined economic impact of these shows brought in $74.2 million in 2021.

“The Will Rogers Coliseum is beloved by millions of visitors who have created memories here for 86 years,” said Mike Crum, director of the public events department, in a press release. “We are investing in the facility to ensure its historic charm and elegance continue to impress millions more in future generations.”

A request for quote will be issued for design and construction bids. Construction is expected to begin within a year, according to the press release.