February 17, 2017

Country bar with mechanical bulls to join restaurants at Texas Live!

View Article from Star-Telegram

ARLINGTON - A Professional Bull Riders-themed country bar with two mechanical bulls will find a home at the Texas Live! entertainment complex being built next to Globe Life Park, officials announced Friday.

The 17,000-square-foot PBR Bar will become the flagship of a chain of establishments the group has opened around the country in partnership with Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, which is developing the $250 million Texas Live! project for the Texas Rangers.

Officials for the Rangers, Cordish and PBR joined in the announcement Friday at AT&T Stadium, where the PBR’s Frontier Communications Iron Cowboy event will take place for the eighth consecutive year on Saturday night.

“It’s a natural for Texas and our region to have a concept like this,” said Rob Matwick, Rangers executive vice president for business operations, noting the long partnership between Cordish and the bull riders group. “They have had great success around the country.”

The bar will have a 1,500-person capacity and a 7,000-square-foot balcony overlooking the Arlington Backyard concert pavilion. It will host its own Hot Country Night live concert series.

The country bar will join Lockhart Smokehouse, the popular Dallas barbecue restaurant announced earlier this month for Texas Live!, as well as a restaurant from TV chef Guy Fieri and Granbury-based Revolver Brewing. Cordish has worked with PBR to develop eight of its nine bars over the past decade.

Construction began on the sports/entertainment complex in October on seven acres between Globe Life and AT&T Stadium. It will be adjacent to the new $1 billion retractable-roof stadium that will be built for the Rangers, following voter approval for taxpayer funding Nov. 8.

Plans call for Texas Live! to open at the beginning of the 2018 baseball season. An adjoining 300-bed, high-rise hotel and 35,000 square feet of convention facilities will be completed later that year.

“As they say, everything’s bigger in Texas,” PBR Chief Executive Sean Gleason said. “This is the biggest single-day PBR event, certainly the biggest venue, and we’re now announcing the biggest bar of our nine bars.”

Gleason said the bar’s “contemporary and cool cowboys theme” has been a big success since the first one launched in 2008, and will soon expand to 10 locations nationwide.

He said each of the bars at midnight will play the PBR organization’s “party anthem” — “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink,” a remake of the Merle Haggard song by the rock band Warrant.

These are the three major venues to be part of Texas Live!:

▪ Rangers Republic will be the “ultimate fan clubhouse” to watch the Rangers play both at home and away, featuring a two-level, 30,000-square-foot family dining and entertainment venue.

▪ Live! Arena will be the 35,000-square-foot “living room” of Texas Live!, giving fans “one of the best sports-viewing experiences imaginable.” The top features include a 10,000-square-foot outdoor beer garden and a concert stage.

▪ Arlington Backyard will be an outdoor event pavilion with a capacity of 5,000 for hosting cultural activities, art shows, regional and national concerts and other events.

The Iron Cowboy, the second of four PBR majors in the Built Ford Tough Series, expects to draw the Top 40 bull riders to compete for top prize of $100,000. Last year, 35,000 fans turned out at AT&T Stadium for the contest, won by Shane Proctor, who collected $115,625 and 885 world standings points.

“We are thrilled to bring the Frontier Communications Iron Cowboy, one of the PBR’s Majors and among the season’s most anticipated events, back to Arlington for our eighth year,” PBR CEO Sean Gleason said in a statement.

“There’s no better venue in the world than AT&T Stadium in the heart of Texas to cheer on the new Iron Cowboy, all our riders and the sport’s rankest bulls.”