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Dallas, Texas
National Historical Landmark

FAIR PARK

by Clint Skinner

40. Fair Park Coliseum

Located northeast of Cotton Bowl Stadium next to the Horse Barn, Fair Park Coliseum was built in 1955 with the capability of seating seven thousand people. The first major event it hosted was the premiere of the National Finals Rodeo in 1959. The founders of the competition wanted to use the event as a way to determine the world champion of steer wrestling, bull riding, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, team roping, and bareback bronc riding. The rodeo was a complete success and continued to call Dallas home until 1961 when it moved to Los Angeles.
Dallas Fair Park Coliseum
Fair Park Coliseum
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016

The St. Louis Braves played in Missouri until the National Hockey League decided to adopt the city into its organization. The team then moved to Fair Park and became the Dallas Black Hawks as part of the Central Hockey League. The minor league team made its big debut in 1967, proceeding to win four Adams Cup Championships. Throughout their tenure, the Black Hawks remained the hockey representatives of the city. In 1982, the team dissolved itself two years before the league came to a close. The Dallas Freeze arrived on the scene in 1992, but only stayed at the coliseum for one season. The following year, the NHL's Minnesota North Stars moved into the area and became the Dallas Stars. This time, however, the team claimed Reunion Arena as its home.

A member of the American Basketball Association, the Dallas Chaparrals arrived in 1967 but received disinterest from the public. The owners changed the name to the Texas Chaparrals during 1970 in an attempt to become a regional team. The players competed in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Lubbock. Ultimately, the effort ended in complete failure. Instead of returning to Fair Park, they split their games between Dallas Convention Center Arena and Moody Coliseum. The team's failure to get into the playoffs for the 1972 season led to the owners selling the Chaparrals to businessmen Angelo Drossos and Red McCombs. Upon the purchase, the team was renamed the San Antonio Spurs.

The year of 2011 brought the arrival of the Assassination City Roller Derby. The rollerskating team was originally founded in Plano during 2005 as part of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. Although the team gained lots of popularity while performing at the coliseum, the players left at the end of 2013.

During the state fair, the coliseum has hosted several attractions. They include horse shows, haunted houses, and live entertainment. Currently, the place is being used by retailers, merchants, and local businesses. The back of the building displayed sand sculptures for a couple of years until they were replaced by a stage for musical performances.

January 13, 2017
© Clint Skinner

FAIR PARK:
Fair Park - Attractions:
1. Fair Park Station
2. Main Entrance
3. Founders Statue
4. Women's Museum
5. DAR House
6. The Texas Vietnam Veterans Memorial
7. Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain
8. Music Hall
9. Fair Park Esplanade
10. Centennial Building
11. Automobile Building
12. Hall of State
13. Tower Building
14. Big Tex Circle
15. Grand Place
16. Old Mill Inn
17. Magnolia Lounge
18. Hall of Religion
19. African American Museum
20. Leonhardt Lagoon
21. Dallas Museum of Natural History
22. Science Place I
23. Children's Aquarium
24. Fair Park Bandshell
25. Texas Discovery Gardens
26. WRR Headquarters
27. Science Place II
28. The Texas Star
29. Cotton Bowl Stadium
30. The Texas Skyway
31. The Embarcadero
32. The Creative Arts Building
33. Food and Fiber Building
34. Pan American Arena
35. The Woofus
36. The Swine Building
37. Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center
38. Livestock Pavilion and Arena
39. The Horse Barn
40. Fair Park Coliseum
41. Top of Texas Tower


References:
1.Bigtex.com
2.Dallashistory.org
3.Dallas Morning News Archives
4.Fairpark.org
5.Slate, John H. Historic Dallas Parks. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
6.Tshaonline.org
7.Watermelon-kid.com
8.Wikipedia.org
8.Winters, Willis Cecil. Fair Park. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.

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