The building now known as Billy Bob’s Texas was built in 1910 and was once an open-air barn used to house prize cattle for the Fort Worth Stock Show. In 1936, as a Texas Centennial Project, the building was enclosed by the City of Fort Worth at a cost of $183,500 and the tower over the main entrance was added. The “new” structure contained 1,257 animal stalls, and a 1,200 seat auction ring that is now the Billy Bob’s Bull Riding arena. Livestock events were held here until the stock show moved to the Will Rogers Memorial Complex, in 1943. During World War II, the building was used as an airplane factory for the Globe Aircraft Corporation. In the 1950′s the building became a department store so large that the stock boys wore roller skates to make their jobs easier.
Billy Bob’s Texas opened April 1, 1981 with national attention featuring Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers as the first performers. Other artists who appeared during opening week included Waylon Jennings, Janie Fricke, and Willie Nelson. With 100,000 square feet of interior space and 20 acres of parking for entertainment and events, Billy Bob’s features 30 individual bar stations, live music with country music’s biggest stars, Live Pro Bull Riding, and a Texas size dance floor for everyone to enjoy. Billy Bob’s Live Pro Bull Riding is sanctioned by Championship Bull Riding (CBR) and contestants compete every Friday and Saturday night. We’re talking real bulls- not mechanical! Billy Bob’s also offers our guests a chance to be a rodeo star by providing an authentic stuffed bull photo opportunity as if they were part of the live action.
- Billy Bob’s can accommodate up to 6,000 people and is open daily with entertainment nightly.
- Billy Bob’s has been named “Country Music Club of the Year” 12 times.
- The record for most bottled beers sold in one night is 16,000 bottles at the Hank Williams Jr. concert in 1986. The second highest record is 14,700 bottles during the Robert Earl Keen Concert in 2001.
- Merle Haggard made the Guinness Book of World Records for buying the largest round of drinks when he bought 5,095 drinks of Canadian Club for the entire club. The bill totaled $12,737.50 and equaled 40 gallons of whiskey.
- More Than 17 Million Visitors have come through Billy Bob’s Doors since 1981.
- More than 47,500 Bulls have bucked in Billy Bob’s arena to date.
- Billy Bob’s launched its recording label in 1998 recording 43 albums and counting.
Billy Bob’s Texas has been featured on several TV and Movie screens and has served as the location for several music videos for country’s biggest stars. A number of episodes of the original television series “Dallas” were shot on location. Other shows include “Walker Texas Ranger,” CBS’s “Happy New Year America,” “CBS This Morning,” VH1 “Rock of Love”, and “Nashville Star.” Billy Bob’s has also been highlighted in several travel shows and news features.
Billy Bob’s Texas has also been seen in the following films:
- “Over The Top”, starring Sylvester Stallone in 1987
- “Baja Oklahoma”, with Lesley Ann Warren, Peter Coyote & Willie Nelson in 1988.
- “Necessary Roughness”, with Scott Bakula, Sinbad, Robert Loggia & Kathy Ireland in 1991.
- “Pure Country” in 1992, starring George Strait.
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While Billy Bob’s is known for hosting the biggest stars in country music, it also hosts Rock ‘n’ Roll & Pop Music stars. Ringo Starr, .38 Special, Men At Work, The Go-Go’s, Steppenwolf, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Pat Benatar, Heart, and ZZ Top have all performed at the World’s Largest Honky Tonk. Even Ray Charles and Bob Hope have performed onstage at Billy Bob’s Texas.
With all the history, entertainment, and excitement, it’s no wonder that Billy Bob’s Texas has been named Country Music Club of the Year 9 times by the Academy of Country Music and 3 times by the Country Music Association! Check out even more in our exclusive 30th Anniversary Book- “A Texas Legend” available for purchase online and inside our gift store.
Billy Bob’s welcomes visitors from all over the world and from all walks of life on a daily basis. Come experience our Honky Tonk attitude, friendly Fort Worth hospitality, and truly unique atmosphere.
Y’all come see us soon!