Fort Worth voters approve spending $225m on a new arena for rodeo and, um, that’s about it

Forget about control of the U.S. Senate, and whether the crazy guy who tried to rig the unemployment claims process won in Maine: I know what you want to know this morning. You can’t wait to hear whether Fort Worth, Texas voted to pay half the cost of a $450 million, 14,000-seat arena for no teams in particular.

And the answer is: Do you even have to ask?

• An admission tax on each ticket to events at the venue, at a rate not to exceed 10 percent of the ticket price, was passing with 79.02 percent of the vote.

• A tax on each stall or pen used by livestock during an event at the venue, not to exceed $20 per stall or pen for any event, had 76.85 percent “for” in early results.

• A parking tax, not to exceed $5 for each vehicle, was passing with 72.22 percent.

These are actually pretty reasonable ways to fund an arena, if you have to fund one: All of them come from actual arena operations, not generally applicable tax revenues. Of course, the arena will also be funded by the local share of state hotel tax money, and if all those ticket taxes and such fall short of expectations the city will have to come up with the missing funds from somewhere, but how could an arena that’s too small for major pro sports possibly have a shortfall? I mean, think of all the concerts!

Matthew Harbor runs one of the area’s largest concert and event promoters, SPUNE. He said his company loves doing events in Fort Worth, but he isn’t sure a venue that will only have 13,000 to 14,000 seats (depending on the concert) will draw major entertainers away from established venues, like Dallas’ American Airlines Center.

“It is certainly possible, but I would not place much hope on winning that battle on an ongoing basis,” he wrote in an email to News 8.

Um. Well. That still leaves the livestock show and rodeo, and, um. Well.

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