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Matt Homan - Dickies Arena President and GM

Matt Homan

Dickies Arena President and GM

Dickies Arena President and GM, Matt Homan, stops by Fortitude. Ever been to Dickies Arena? Ever wonder how it all works? Homan explains its history, inner workings, daily grind, scheduling, future, and uniqueness. A fascinating look into Fort Worth’s coolest arena and what it takes to make it go. Homan is one of this city’s movers and shakers with a passion for entertainment.

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Episode Transcription: 

roxo media house
welcome back to fortitude everyone jw wilson Brinton payne you are amidst the cap text bank studio thank you cap text
bank mike thomas one president uh we’re blessed to have you guys in our loop we’re thankful for your support
and we couldn’t do this without you Brinton today sitting between us we got a cool guy
he’s i call him a friend would you call us a friend absolutely we got to know you both of us are just one of us
still feeling it out matt homan president in gm of dickies
arena thank you for being here matt thanks for having me excited to be here yeah thank you for being here this guy lives in a very cool space in a van we
get yes we get to see his work outside the arena down by the river yes down by the river yes so matt uh before we get
into what why you’re here i mean the just the genesis of why you’re here but where are you from and how did you how
did you grow up well i grew up in uh from originally philadelphia pennsylvania um grew up there
uh going to lots of events with my dad my dad worked for ticketmaster for a long time so kind of grew up in the
event industry a little bit uh which was which was pretty cool you got to see all the stuff but you know really fell in
love with everything behind the scenes and that was something that was really important to me uh after growing up there i went to
university of south carolina so at gamecock jane cox yeah we’re going to be a good football team this year i have a good feeling about us
um you know and um you know that’s a little bit of the quick history right
okay so paint the picture so philadelphia 76ers games like what
was going on at the philly arenas like around that time die hard philadelphia flyers and 76ers okay um you know grew
up yeah i actually ball boyed for the sixers uh during the dr j charles barkley years oh uh what does that look
like those guys are written uh familiar yeah um only by
pictorial type of deal does that mean with the ball boy he’s like you’re out there handing it to him and then you put him back on that rack
with the wheels and yeah yeah did that did that and then you’d also get to you know sweep the floor when sweat would
drip or something like that what a joy i remember one time i had i had pretty bad asthma as a kid growing up and you were
still smoking inside the arena at the spectrum and i was having like a bad thing and i was and and uh they had to
call me out the ref had to double whistle me out to come you know wipe up some sweat from moses malone and i’m up
there looking at him like oh my gosh look how big that guy is yeah were you uh in an asthma attack at
that moment i was you know just i was needing some inhalers and stuff yes
dr j probably played while he was smoking right now so and then with your dad being a ticket
master like what error we talking about for not only sporting events but kind of concerts and stuff like that at that
time oh so i mean you know growing up in the you know late 80s early 90s obviously graduated from uh high school
in you know 95 um you know got to see a lot of great things and my first job was actually working at the spectrum uh is
as a ticket seller and i was there um i was there for actually when robert um
when paige and plant got into a fist fight backstage no kidding yeah yeah you can just hear about it like nobody was
really back there i was kind of back there and didn’t see it and just saw the security rush together and separate
everyone and it was kind of you know what just happened but you know were you working like the will call
window up there i was actually working guest services so when people came in complaining about their seats because it was too high or you know they broke
their leg and can’t fit in the seats and things like that i was the relocation person okay best complaint yeah yeah he
shows up and and says what like i took the acid too early man like i could not sit here like i mean he saw that but
back in that day it was more dealing with duplicate tickets oh yeah because i had a little bit more of a vast ticket
background i could kind of i was a little bit more experienced with that i could say hey this person’s got fake tickets they’re out yeah imagine doing
that at a time at a dead concert back in 90s together because i know a guy who did
take the acid too early ended that had the fake ticket and went in and they’re like you’re not going in this show man
and you just had to go out in the parking lot and hang out you know for the rest of the time best concert as a kid through all this experience
well i mean i’m a die-hard springsteen fan so it was probably the first concert i ever saw live with springsteen yeah in
83 so um you know that’s one of my favorites that’s definitely one of my
favorites uh pearl jam um pearl jam at the at the wells fargo center was
definitely a great one as well there’s a lot of them i’ve seen so many good shows um i remember going to my first dead
concert actually at the spectrum and um you know and the crowd just starts going nuts and you know i’m in
high school and like you know i’m a freshman in high school and i look around i go the guy like what just happened they’re like oh they haven’t
played unbroken chain and you know 22 years 400 some shows and i’m like yeah
okay yeah for sure this is good yeah what’s really fun about the dead shows is how the family dynamic like where
you’ll look over and there’ll be a father and son and brother all passed out together you know during the second
set you know just completely comatose and you know it’s just it’s like the most dysfunctional thing going i used to
have a cousin that lived in cincinnati and the only time we would see him when the dead came to town yeah
because he’d get tickets from my dad and he’d stay in our house and shower well that’s like my uncle was a huge deadhead too it’s like every like one it’s like
every bad seed in the family that starts the fights during christmas is all together for a concert right like it’s
all those people i love the dead man i’m just i’m beautiful great grilled cheese outside yeah
for sure all right how did you what brought you to fort worth so i was running the wells fargo center and
this opportunity came that they were building this arena in fort worth texas
and at the time of my career you know i was happy you know i was doing my dream job which was running the wells fargo
center which i thought was the pinnacle of my career you know run the nhl nba town you know building that i grew up
going to uh you know was something that was special to me but i fell in love with this concept of this not-for-profit opportunity that was
going to run the facility and not evenly that just a you know a not-for-profit that was going to open with little debt
and then you know all the dollars that this not-for-profit can make the only thing we could do with those dollars is
reinvest them back into the facility i mean that was like mind-boggling at the time it’s like wow there’s someone
can do that um because you know i was working you know comcast wasn’t overseeing the wells fargo center at the
time and you know it was it was just getting to a point where comcast is like okay find three percent more find four
percent more and the only way to do that in our industry is because we don’t create the events you know we try to go
solicit them and bring them in but i can’t create i can’t make the who go on tour right yeah and so well we talked
about that real quick that dynamic like um if i’m a band i come to you
many people don’t understand that relationship everyone thinks that you pay me to come to you but do i pay to
use your like how does that work yeah no no that’s a great question so i am actually in the rental business the majority of the time okay now i get
involved with promoters and do what we call co-pros and things like that where we co-promote it together but for the
most of the events that we do you know we’re in the rental business and we rent the building out to like a live nation
or an aeg who are the two largest concert promoters in the world or in outback concerts and they bring in the
artists they’ll have a tour with that artist and they’ll bring they’ll route the tour they had an artist and then they’ll bring them into our facility and
just rent to use the facility okay but obviously the key is you want those events to do well because you don’t just
want to bring in you know an act that’s going to only sell 2 000 seats and see that promoter lose their lose their butt
right because that doesn’t make money for for anyone yeah and then that’s going to be a detraction to the event so
you want to help market and solicit and help bring those people in the other thing is that the more they come in the
more they eat the more they drink the more they spend that’s where we tend to make our money well and those things are
built to the better they sound right like you get only 2 000 people in a you know 150 or whatever the 40 000 arena
it’s bad that that sound is bouncing off the wall it’s just not good you know yeah it’s terrible so i mean you want
that full house and there’s there’s nothing like walking into a full arena right but even if at a not full arena
you know the way that we built dickies arena is that you know we have a curtaining system in our upper level and even if it’s a lower bowl show you know
like you want that energy and that vibe and the band wants it too because they don’t want to be embarrassed out there
sure now in the build of that thing it’s kind of a i mean it is a very unique build like
the way that they’ve done the circular dome with zero truss rods going across
maybe you can speak to that and then the weight capacity because the bands like that too right yeah absolutely so two
things is one is when we were when the design i came in on the front end of the construction phase but a lot of the the
design was done right i came in and was able to make some operational changes which we can talk about later but you
know the dome was there to really duplicate what the rest of the campus looked like so we didn’t want to build a
glass building in the cultural district there we want something that fit well into you know the rest of the district
and that’s why you see that dome which really looks like the will rogers dome and the cupola that really looks like that and the towers that you have up
there as well so really fits all together within the rest of the campus which is really important
weight is something that is you know what rigging weight is what you’re asking about that’s the second part of the question i mean that’s something
that was really important to us when i came in here i think we were able to handle 150 000 pounds and we bumped that up to
over 250 000 pounds because you don’t want to ever get into a place where you’re saying hey you know we can’t we
can’t weigh this or we can’t do this show because that weight or something like that yeah like radiohead brings all
these tvs like this back in the day and and you can imagine that it’s like no i want all my gear in a real tight space
like a really intimate space like i want that vibe that it’s not as hard to sell out but i want all this magic stuff
happening too yeah one of the cool things coming up which we was the first time for us is we’re actually upcoming
we’re going to do pbr world finals we’re going to load out pbr and do paul mccartney right and then we’re going um
load paul mccartney out and do pbr well as as a part of this what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna keep some of pbr’s uh
equipment up some lighting stuff and we could fly it all the way up to the ceiling so it’ll be at 125 feet off the
ground so it’s not going to be noticeable but we’re actually going to carry about 185 000 pounds in the
building at one time which will be our first time doing that so we’ll bring paul mccartney’s rig in which is about 145 000 pounds and then uh 40 000 pounds
of pbr will still be up there in the ceiling as well but you won’t ever see it is that weight or light what’s the
significance it’s like the weight of the speakers yeah it’s speakers lighting lighting speakers lighting trucks not
really speakers for pbr but for mccartney it will be it’s lighting truss and mccartney’s lane trusts are going to be very you know it’s going to be before
we get shot can we backtrack just a bit before we tell to tell your story surely when you get to fort worth they’re built
they’re starting to build uh dickies you you met a man named ed bass i guess ed
in the in the board is kind of who you answer to ultimately as as the gm uh
what is your first meeting like with this man and how how’s relationship with him now well i interviewed with ed bass
so uh this is about seven years ago now so before we even broke ground on the building um you know about 77 years ago
i came into fort worth for a meeting with a group of people ed bass was one of them uh and we had a great meeting
and uh we just talked and we had a great conversation about events and concerts and sporting
events and your problems with nhl and nba facilities and um you know it was it
was just it evolved it was just us having a great conversation um you know
what mr bass has done for dickies arena to build this you know it’s it’s something that
i’ve never seen before it’s uh something that i offer the uh the most respect in the world for that man he’s done a great
job building this facility and setting it up for long-term success um you know fast forward to where we are
now yes he’s the chairman of of the board that i report to i have a board um the board of directors that that we have
and it’s fascinating it’s great um i love learning from him i love listening to
him he’s always got a great opinion and perspective on things and he’s taught me so much since i’ve been here so um yeah
my respect for mr bass is just it’s through the roof you know he’s done so much for this building for this
community for me personally that um you know it’s it’s it’s it’s an amazing thing and his gift to fort worth of what
he’s done by you know doing all this and putting it together and handing it to the city on a silver platter and saying to him
was just you don’t see any other community in the country so you you survived covet obviously uh
which was obviously difficult in the industry you’re in but how are i know things are back to normal relatively
speaking you’re booking some incredible shows stat wise how how does dickies
measure up to compare work to where you want it to be where you thought it’d be rest in the world and maybe weave in that non-profit that we began on and
then and and like with all that accolades to mr best to you know bring that into you yeah sure so um
you know it was great when we started you know in 2019 november of 19 when we opened i mean things were going well you
know we’re still this young building you know people weren’t sure if fort worth and dallas were the same market and when
i say that i really mean american airlines center in us they weren’t sure if we were the same market or different markets so it was hey these guys are
doing well they’re selling tickets and blah blah blah it’s going great covet hit in march shut everything down
um you know one of the best things i’ve done in ever in most proud things of my career is that i didn’t furlough or lay
anyone off and that was that was pretty special to me we were fortunate to receive ppp loans
uh because of our nonprofit status so that was neat and then as we kick
back in you know things kept going and going and then we start putting shows on sale and you know shows are just selling
really well and right now you know i think there’s there’s we’re definitely probably the
hottest entertainment market in the united states in my opinion and that’s because the people of fort worth are supporting this facility and
coming to shows you know we still haven’t had that one show that plays fort worth and dallas back to back but
it’s coming it’s going to happen this year yeah it’s going to happen can you say uh or no i can’t say but
it’s a guess uh you could guess is it leads up i’m getting back together finally it’s not no no they are not well
they’re missing a guy well he’s while he’s wondering what’s what’s the economic impact of dickies arena for fort worth so the neighbor he’s got to
be a canadian justin no he was just here so uh you know the economic that’s a
tough number to say to say you know you have to get someone to come in and show what it does but i could say that in
each of our fiscal years we’re into our third fiscal year we’ve made a profit we’re proud of that we’re proud that
we’ve made a profit right you know we’re putting those monies back those dollars back in the facility even this year we’re going to put two and a half
million dollars back into the facility so and what kind of stuff you know we’re upgrading you know some maintenance some
upgrades to some of our tv displays that we have in there some um bigger bars for
sure yes yeah only for rodeo time right next question some more office space
because we didn’t have much office space when we did that so we that was a little thing that we needed uh if you recall on
top of the garage we on the chevrolet garage we have that preview center that we use we’re transforming that into a
training center for all of our staff you know if you’re watching fresher air circulating in some of the men’s rooms
just i mean just the rodeo those are the nicest restrooms i’ve ever seen yeah that’s better than the world rogers
yes exactly you don’t get that crud as you walk out of dickie’s arena things are amazing yeah i mean the level
of detail in that facility is just it’s just incredible i mean everywhere you look you can find something and be like
wow someone put a lot of time effort and thought into that yes and 99.9 of the time it was mr bass let’s do this
comparison because tonight over in dallas or cold play is playing
at the cotton bowl and that place i think there’s some walkways there that it’s like you’re a
circus act i mean those catwalks up above it’s crazy someone’s going to get really hurt i mean it’s just night and
day i went to the cotton bowl for the winter classic and i swore i’d never go to the cotton bowl again for an event yeah and
then i went back for the rolling stones but it’s scary i mean the the the infrastructure of that is just it’s
truly you look up and you’re like wow that’s a big crack between a pylon and a you know yeah you saw the stones
in the in the cotton ball in that lighting storm yeah that had to be fantastic yeah we were down on the floor you know i took my kids my kids were
like we’re going to see who i said you’re going to see the rolling stones and you’ll thank me later in life you know no phones allowed just watching
yeah you’re going to watch the rolling stones yeah okay well there’s this thing called the fort stock show and rodeo you
might have heard of it uh tell us how what how that involved i mean obviously this is you’re one of your babies
what what’s going on with that and dickies well another person i have the utmost respect for is brad barnes the
president general manager of the fort worth stock show rodeo and i call him a dear friend to be honest with you and um really you know that evolved some
time ago really probably six years ago when i first got here of he and i just kind of deciding how to put this all
together and you know what we concluded was that you know we were best to go out to market with
everything together for us to be one and similar and you know they’re the anchor tenant of our facility we’re not out
there looking to find another you know a minor league basketball team or a miner league hockey team it doesn’t make sense
for us they’re our anchor tenant which every building in my opinion needs an anchor tenant and that’s the fort worth
stock show and rodeo and for me on the entertainment side selfishly what a better time to have them than you know
beginning of january into the first week’s effects the slowest of tour times right for these bands exactly so for me
it’s like a perfect world right it gives me the opportunity to book the rest of the year but the stock show is a huge
part of dickie’s arena and a huge part of the reason we’re successful right now um and that goes back to you know their
pr you know our together our premium seating packages that we put together for all of our suite holders our club
box our club seat holders rodeo box holders loge box holders you know in our sponsors and brad and i really put that
whole concept together and put it out there and it was something it was something that i don’t think many other markets could duplicate because you
can’t you’ll in other markets you’ll get a true tenant who doesn’t have the same goals as you
and you’re just gonna you’re gonna fight the whole time right well and kudos to you for coming in from out of town and
seeing how other models had tried in a different and probably a totally different event right the rodeo i mean
which i don’t think maybe philadelphia’s got a really big rodeo presence but it seems like you’re able to bring all that
experience that you have into something like this and then find a common ground to make it
really good in my interview they asked me have you ever been to a rodeo and i said i’ve seen a pbr once yeah well
that’s not a rodeo yeah yeah i go well you know it’s an event i’m used to running events so i have confidence that
i can sure obviously the rodeo is wildly successful here are there anything at the rodeo that’s not that needs
improvement i mean this is kind of a loaded question but is there anything any challenges that you’re trying to overcome in that regard well i mean i
think from you know from the 2020 rodeo obviously to the 2022 rodeo we’ve made some vast improvements i think our
in-seat service the food and beverage portion got a lot better um i think that
overall our service improved from where we were in 2020 you know our north club which is our avion club our dining area
that got a lot better staffing got a lot more used to it and was ready for that run yeah and i think we did an
incredible job this year the downside is the labor market right now the part-time labor market when we
opened this facility you know we had over i had over you know 1300 part-time
staff right now i’m hovering around 900 part-time staff and for any given night
at a full event including the rodeo we have probably over 600 part-time staff work in the facility holy cow so you’re
always looking for a part-time help always all the time and whether it be in food and beverage operations
um you know security ushers ticket takers you know box office staff cleaning you know it just goes on and on
and on could we like work uh like uh the floor like security i mean you get to see the show why
wouldn’t you either be on the floor and you’d let all those people in like you like to be let in right i’ve
recently put my son to work there and he’s been doing it and he’s been doing some ticket scanning and going like that
yeah you know it’s funny during uh eric church you know in our whatever we post on instagram afterwards you can see the
back of his head he’s like that’s the back of my head it’s awesome so yeah yeah you know but it’s good you know but
yeah we’re trying to find anyone right not anyone but obviously trying to find staff right now is is is definitely our
biggest challenge yeah what’s the partnership with the city of fort worth look like in regards to dickies well you
know the city of the city at the end of the day owns the facility we have a 70-year lease to manage it 70-year lease
to manage it but you know they’re they’re they own it they check in on us
they have two mem two people uh from city council that are on our board one c council member and the c manager david
cook are also on our board um so it’s it’s together we’re always working together
on things they’re you know the whole concept of us being that not for profit though is to take the red tape out of it
yeah i don’t need to go through you know you know procurement when we want to go buy chairs right you know and i don’t
need so that’s the reason for this non-profit is to get that red tape out of it and run it like a for-profit
business where because you know every couple years you know every five ten years we’re gonna have to dump uh you
know lots of money into that facility you know on a five-year basis you could be looking at dumping to anywhere from 10 to 15 million dollars you know to
keep that facility up to its you know current state did they look at will rogers and that not happening as the
model of what they’re going to change is that where that came from or i mean and i’m not trying to be like rude about
that it’s just you know will rogers got old right yeah and i think so yeah i think that was part of the reason that
mr bask wanted that new facility is because will rogers was so tired um and
it wasn’t maintained you know to the level it probably should have yeah you know once you get that thing 25 years
down the road and it hasn’t been maintained it’s tough to get back those 25 years yeah and get it back up to a standard so
you know will rogers is great for what it is right and it’s a great equestrian event equestrian home to lots of different
events you know but they also wanted there was time for something else and you know there’s time for that sports
and entertainment and concerts fort worth was big enough yep and you know you know again kudos to mr bass for the
vision to bring that all together yeah so you bring in some incredible things like ncaa basketball march madness
gymnast usa gymnastics concerts obviously the rodeo uh is for people who don’t understand
how that works who is the person is it you do you have a team that’s go out and finding these people and bringing them
and showing them why they should do this and bringing them in is there a talent scout of sorts how does that work it’s kind of me you know it’s just you know i
i take the um i take the booking myself i do it all i fi you know i hold it close to my heart you know it’s
something that i enjoy something that i’m still able to do and with my current role um you know so i’m out there going
after these events we actually announced if you may recall we announced winning the ncaa gymnastics and the ncaa men’s
basketball tournament the day we broke ground on the arena right i mean that was the day we announced it you know fortunately that bidding cycle with the
ncaa and you have to know what the ncaa bidding cycle is and what that looks like that bidding cycle with the ncaa
was for 20 2020 2021 2022 well the ncaa as a whole is never going to give you
that those dates in 2020 the year you open just in case construction’s not there blah blah blah they don’t want to
do that and thankfully they didn’t give it to us in 21 or else we would have missed out on that because of covid so we were
fortunate that we got it in 22. so that was something that was that kind of we got lucky with but no i’m in charge of
those you know i went after those the american athletic conference men’s basketball tournament we brought that in
um you know i and then now we work with uh visit fort worth and the fort worth sports commission jason sands about
bringing in lots of different events you know credit to them they brought in usa wrestling during covid when usa
wrestling was supposed to be at uh penn state um to host the their championship and they couldn’t do it which was their
olympic trials because of covid because of pennsylvania laws um at the time you
know they brought it to us and you know kudos to them for bringing those out there to us there’s this other thing in
texas called the event trust fund which i don’t know if you’re aware of or not but it’s these incentive dollars that
the state gives you basically on the sales tax you know back to the event holder or the host that helped you that
helped entice them to bring events to texas it’s great for the state of texas it’s great for venues to go after these
things and it helps it helps secure some of them as well so you’re talking about even though it’s a like a real strike
force capacity there’s just some red tape associated with some of that i got to think that you’re negotiating this
stuff with these promotions guys who are the slickest guys around and are the best negotiators ever
how i mean is that a stressful time because they’re bringing something to you you’re wanting to get something then the negotiations begin then you’re like
can i fit it and then can i make it you know can i can i make these num like that’s got to be like a shot clock going
can i make it work in this time frame yeah there’s a lot of quick decisions that you have to make throughout that you know but but
it’s education and it’s volume really more than anything else it’s you know you’re not sitting there saying well i
don’t know if i want to do you know i don’t know if i want to do james taylor because maybe justin
bieber’s going out on tour you know i know you’re justin bieber yes but you don’t sit there and make those questions
you know it’s more about the volume of events and concerts once they start learning that that’s the market they
want to play there’s a little wiggle room that they’ll find and if you don’t have friday available maybe they’ll say okay thursday or saturday yeah you know
even though they were routed with you maybe they’ll change it a little bit so you have to work that process as well
which is a process to work but it’s about being flexible it’s about you know it’s about
not being greedy towards events and making sure that everyone can make money and move on down the road is there like
a promotion like a like concerts news magazine like an industry mag where you can get some of the like kind of the
yeah what’s going on polestar is a great resource that i use a lot that’ll give you touring um history
um you know it’s weird right now in the touring models because everything’s selling different than it was
pre-covered yeah you know like we’re extremely hot market right now pre-covered you know the northwest was
pretty hot and it’s kind of you know skimmed down a little bit right now which is do the artists like here
because of why everybody else does central country huge airport easy to get in and out of
sends weather not not really you know they’re looking at more you know where can they make the most money you know
that’s important to the artist or to the you know to also the promoter yeah you know where are they going to sell the
most tickets uh but they also want the great experience and the great fan experience too and i think our fan
experience we offer is is second to none yeah and and and so that’s something they look to you know it’s been reported
that george you know george strait obviously is coming back uh it’s been reported to us that that he really likes
our venue and um you know he he really loved it and fell in love with our venue and you know
i think that’s one of the reasons is bringing him back yeah yeah let’s talk about that for instance so this is a
second trip to dickies um a guy like george strait you’re reaching out to his agent i believe how does that go like
hey i’m matt obviously you have a connection i’m looking to book george is it that simple and they say these are
the dates we can avoid we can give you and then you negotiate the price and it’s done well that one was unique you know our
first time that we did it you know it was more like that and i was friends with his manager and agent and uh talked
to him about it i’ve known him a long time a good friend of mine not george but his imagination who’s his agent uh
well the gentleman we deal with is louis messina out of out of austin and uh louie’s been in the industry for a long
time and i call him a dear friend and he is a you know he’s one of the guys i come hang out i go sit on his bus with
him for a little bit and you know chat and you know and it’s a great experience but um
you know george was one of those people that yeah we when we opened i called louie and i said louie it makes sense i need george to be
you know one of the first shows yeah and at the time he had a vegas residency and vegas wasn’t sure if they were going to
let him do it but louie agreed and you know was really excited about it and george had a great show and you know and
did great numbers the fans loved it you know and even george on stage said i’ll be back yeah and uh here we go you know
you know post covet he’s coming back and hopefully this isn’t his last time great job by the way i was lucky enough i think it was eight years ago in san
antonio to be at george strait’s last concert ever obviously that’s not the case but it was it was sad i was
crying cowboy rides away my kids were asleep in my lap they couldn’t make it but obviously he wasn’t done at the time
he’s still going strong this is kind of amazing and it’s even more amazing that he loves dickies i love that he says
that to you and it’s it’s really encouraging luckily i’m going to be at the concert and i can’t freaking wait but last touring show was in san antonio
that was his last touring challenge that’s the that’s the difference when he just opened the austin the moody center
in austin just this past uh this past weekend i think what do you think it is about our fan experience like i mean
obviously people here are very nice and stuff we don’t want to repeat the cup incident at starplex when guns and roses
play uh in our defense axel did not come out for a significant amount of time but
what is what is it about like this in fort worth well i think it’s about you know the intimacy you have of that facility
you know it’s 13 000 seats for george strait you know it’s intimate it’s tight it sounds good you know you got to
remember he’s using our house sound system he’s not bringing in any you know supplemental sound for the arena he brings in some supplemental sound for
the floor and that’s about it so that’s a significant cost for him well yeah but he’s not worried about that i don’t
think as much it’s just more about like it’s first class that’s the way that it should be and and again
it’s more of a partnership with with them to bring those shows in here you know it’s something that we look forward
to and that we’re excited about does he have a guarantee matt you could tell us he does have a guarantee okay good good
he gets it all i guarantee that’s right and you know and but you know you hear you do hear
some grumblings right now about ticket prices but you know you look at george strait and in a 13 000 seat venue and in fort worth
texas like what you would presume would be the guy’s home practically you know it’s it so it makes sense you know and
and there yes it doesn’t appeal to everyone but it does appeal to a market that is
still paying for those tickets worst negotiation of an artist you ever had worse than a good like where you took it
where you were like i need you bad and i just can’t believe i’m giving you all this for this
well yeah i don’t i don’t know that’s worse but paul mccartney is probably you know this paul mccartney show is
probably a break-even show for us he is a billionaire for a reason well not just for that though because you know my deal
with pbr is i’m paying for all the changeover costs to get out of pbr and then bring pbr
back in so what are you doing with the dirt on the floor no no we’re going to take all the dirt out we’re going to take all the dirt out you know i’m going
to clean the building get it ready so i mean so for deals it’s prob that’s probably my worst deal
you know um but we’re doing paul mccartney in fort worth you got to do what you got to do and you know what
it’s good for it’s good for our suite holders it’s good for our club seat holders it’s good for our sponsors you
know it shows that you know fort worth is the market to play and committed clearly
right and like i gotta i gotta imagine that in the industry it’s like you know what those guys will work with
you they moved all this dirt out of an arena and then back in the next day where does that dirt go by the way for the small period of time so we’re in
your bed we some parking lots you know around the
south of the garage that we’re going to you know just export it out there and then bring it back in so
carter coming to do a little bmx uh expo over there you know you know just to give you an idea about fort worth the
market you know and you know it’s sad that i bring this up but i will you know we went on sale with the judds and how
devastating to hear about the loss of her but but we went on sale with the judds the same week that garth brooks
went on sale and sold out att stadium and we sold out the judge and on the sell on the opening day oh wow think
about that yeah yeah i mean the hot the probably the biggest country music
artist and you know next to george strait of course louie in case you listen to this um in the world you know
goes on sale and we sell out the judds that same week yeah wow that’s pretty
amazing and telling of how much fort worth is supporting this facility in my mind it’s incredible hardest artists to
deal with from a personality standpoint i guess you wouldn’t want to say that because you then kanye seriously seriously
it’s not surprising but yeah he does bring a tremendous crowd kanye we were in a room like this and kanye brought in
a lattice roof over top of him in a locker room so he could feel like he was at home
are you kidding me it sounds like you Brinton a little bit no reminds me of yourself this is my accoutrement
that is that yeah all right let’s switch gears for a second panther city lacrosse we are huge fans we’ve been to many many
uh events of their many of their games that speaking of moving dirt how to putting that situation together it
sounds like a nightmare but you guys have made it work how is panther city doing in your eyes you know i think they’re doing well i think they had a
good start for the first season i think you know greg bibb who uh who i have a lot of respect for for bringing this in
and putting it all together understands that this is the build you know obviously you know lacrosse is not the
founding sport of texas but it’s growing right and i think i think if panther city i think it’s going to take two or
three years but i think they’re going to grow and i think they’re going to do better next year and i think they’ll do better the year after that i think the
youth lacrosse market is really hot in texas and it’s getting hotter and i think panther city in my opinion needs
to yeah it has to focus on that as as to build to build their franchise is it hard it’s a great sport right is it hard
to do with the rodeo because of like the scheduling like because it kind of overlaps that so as we started talking
about this you know years ago i said look here’s the blackout period and i talked to the league and i know the commissioner of the league very well i
said here’s going to be the black outdates do the rodeo and it’s going to be basically you know christmas until the first or second weekend of february
just depends on the year he said i think we can still make that work and i said look if we can make that work then i want to keep moving forward
you know i would almost argue that it was nice to come back to you know like you started in christmas and you’re kind
of ramped up and then they go play the away games or whatnot and then you’re like oh it’s coming back we got another game because
i do think you get we had season tickets and you get not burned out but you know that’s a lot to ask going to every single game kind
of thing so yeah but but it’s the right amount of games too right i mean it’s you know nine home games
it’s not it’s not 40 games right you’re not feeling over committed and so you can spread it out you’re not doing you
know in the minor league hockey model it just doesn’t work when there’s that friday saturday sunday you know home
series it’s like come on that that’s a lot who’s gonna dedicate their whole weekend to go into that you can’t you know so
so i really greg and i talked and we really thought this lacrosse was the right fit for the right amount of you
know events and games at the facility yeah any future sports coming that we don’t already have uh you know i think
we’ve got some not that we don’t already have well i take that back we’re gonna we’ve announced that this august we’re
gonna have an esports event here uh the rocket league world championships which your kids probably know what that is oh
yeah uh so rocket league will be here for their world championships in august i think that’s pretty cool and then we’re going to continue doing college
basketball games i think we got some really good games on tap that i can’t announce but i’m sure you two would be
at one of them so um which will be a great game uh first what we think is you know obviously tcu will be a part of
that and tcu you know should be a top 20 team next year well it was just i went i was lucky enough to get asked and go um
to one of those basketball games the ncaa you’re like on a wednesday or thursday
afternoon the place is packed and i think about like this wouldn’t have happened without this
like you think about how many fans came from north carolina like all these other places filled up our hotel
rooms are out eating in our restaurants like there’s cities that haven’t even woken up yet you know from all of this
stuff and here we have the benefit of something like this in the middle of a weekday you know i mean it’s just a this
is a cool thing it was amazing and i mean look at that we’re so great at the draw that we had with the number one
seeds here and just the games we had were incredible i mean and just you saw the fans love it there they were there
all day you know for both sessions on on the thursday um it was just it was incredible to be we almost did we did a
hair under a million dollars in food and beverage for that weekend for that thursday and saturday so i mean it was
great i would like to see globetrotters if i could put them in yeah you should uh i don’t like going over to
dallas for it i like the globetrotters at dickies arena yeah we have them there good good good they’re there every year
usually in march or april time frame we’ll get you down there yeah matt what’s a typical day in your life look like
every day is different that’s that’s the thing that i fell in love with this industry is because it’s never the same thing twice you know i’ll be working
with our food and beverage team our marketing team booking the building finance operations parking you know it’s always
talking about you know our upcoming events making sure we’re planned making sure we’re ready and and booking the
building so i’m trying to call agents and talk to agents and promoters about what we’re doing how things are selling
you know we sold out recently you know one another great win for us recently was the new addition concert it was our
first r b concert that we did in the building it sold out grossed over a million dollars so immediately as soon as that’s over i
go on the phone with every other you know every other promoter saying hey did you see our first r b show we did a
million bucks for new additions sold out every ticket blah blah blah you know we announced and we’ll be announcing
another r b show here coming up real soon um you know and then so it builds
off that you know the one thing we haven’t done yet that i’m still that i’m working on very hard is you know to get
a good latin show i really want a good latin show i think it’s going to happen it’s going to happen soon we had a you know a boxing
event which you know brought a lot of the latin community but i want a latin concert and i think we’ll get one here in the next couple months to be honest
with you who’s somebody in that regard that you’d be looking at to do well i mean there’s you know there’s great ones out there you know there’s whether it be
a banda ms or something like that but you know someone that really that’s the the take some our speedway is doing a
deal with them for the uh their big race card yeah chris christian no doll you
know there’s there’s a lot of them like that they can sell lots of tickets right there so it’s something that i’m
actively talking to i’m talking to the um latin promoters i just had a great conversation with them the other day
last week actually and now you know they’re looking and you know asking me for availability and starting to work out a deal basically nice
uh don’t look at your phone now but how many friends hit you up for tickets for events you put on
uh you know a good amount you could probably make friends fast in a town yeah yeah a good amount a good amount
that yeah i get a lot of requests um but you know that’s it’s also part of the business of what i do you know very
fortunate that a lot of my friends actually support the facility and buy club seats for you know for our which
really supports the facility and then gives them that first array of refusal when concerts come so i have a lot of
i’m very fortunate to be here very fortunate to be a part of this and to grow to where it is that’s the best day
at uh the best concert at the uh at dickies for you personally new addition man they play candy girl
i mean straight was great you know the opening concert we did was was awesome with
jason isabelle there and steve miller band you know that was fun just because we finally
got to kick the tires uh straight was greater clapton was great um
yeah i see i can see where it gets difficult for sure it does it’s it’s it gets tough it’s like picking your favorite kid you can’t do it right yeah
i mean but yeah but you certainly have the ones that you look forward to and you get excited for church was a great show i’m not a huge eric church fan but
i mean the guy can entertain and he put on a show it was funny they were telling us the story afterwards that as he’s
driving to the arena he and his wife were right in the set list and one to put the tribute to this texas artist
they played the pat green song and yeah those other songs and uh he just came up with it right there and he’s like i’m
trying to learn the lyrics as he’s going along doing it yeah reminding himself how to play it and he was able to do it
and pull it off yeah oh yeah yeah and he played for like three hours you go as deep as looking like
like to see what these guys are doing or no you i do yeah yeah but i’m because you’re a fan too yeah well also yeah i’m
a fan you know in in but you got to have some pride in like what they did at your arena yeah yeah
you know and you want to see if it’s the same set list if it’s going to change do they mix it up you know there’s some artists they’ll they’ll go toward a tour
and just play the same exact set list over and over again yeah you know there’s reasons for that why the artists do that but um but then there’s also
ones that just mix it up and change it all and throw it all out and say hey let’s write out the set list and go okay
nightmare scenario like worst day on the job like like uh
hot dog water doesn’t get changed or i don’t know what you you know the example is it gets worse than that yeah i mean
traffic flow is probably for me like when traffic because no one gets more mad except for when they have traffic
problems so traffic flow is probably one of my biggest nightmares and pet peeves
traffic flow and cleanliness of the facility but cleanliness we can control right like we can go in before the door say hey it’s not clean enough we need to
clean up again and keep going traffic flow you’re on the mercy of a lot of the police officers and we have to hire all
those police officers for on the average event we probably spend over you know probably close to 12 to 15
grand on police officers for traffic flow for a full house concert yeah i mean that’s a lot of money for traffic flow but again you have bad traffic
experiences no one will want to come back like when you go to cotton bowl you don’t want to go back yeah yeah but you
know so you want to make sure that it’s good so we’re changing we’ve changed our traffic patterns we’ve got better with
it we think we have good systems in it not everyone’s always happy our goal is to try to clear those lots on a full
full concert between 30 to 40 minutes so are we good with places to stay around there and stuff i don’t even know what
the time frame between victory or like after american winning victory park are we on path for that or what’s your
thoughts there i think we’re getting closer you know i think i think with the new crescent that’s going to open up down there on west 7th that’s going to
be wonderful i’m really excited for that project you know um jonathan morris did a great with his little hotel drive
which is great you know it’s very unique it’s very boutiquey it but it’s a great facility to have you know there’s rumors
of marriott looking at another facility around our neighborhood as well but i think with the crescent and the
marriott you know i think that’s going to help really improve those destinations and hopefully turn out on a
lot of the stuff i mean if you can walk to a venue or you can just quick uber it’s just like it’s so much nicer even
though here it’s really i mean it’s nice well heck you can see new edition or george strait in your home in 12 minutes
that’s that in itself is is magical for sure yeah i’ve been home and you’ve done an amazing job kudos to you keep it up
we’re very happy to call you a friend we love what you do for a living before we go we always ask our guests
this significant question family aside no wedding no kids what’s the best day of your whole life
i i think easily said right now was the day i took the job here to come to dickie’s arena i think yeah
they don’t even listen mr pass doesn’t listen i think it was you know it’s just it’s
the perfect setup in the perfect scenario in the perfect town and the opportunity was there and um you know i
saw it mr bass did see it and i was excited about it you seem like you’re springsteen here yeah so you can answer next time yeah
see you next time you can answer that no yes he’s gonna answer he’ll come you seem like i really love what you do so that’s that is
thank you guys appreciate it great job [Music]