The HOT Coliseum had its Grand Opening on April 11, 1953…68 years ago today. It was billed as the new entertainment venue for the area, including the Heart of Texas
Fair and Rodeo. But exactly one month after the Grand Opening, an F5 tornado hit downtown Waco, killing 114 people, injuring over 600 others, and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses. The new Coliseum was turned into a used clothing distribution center to help those who had lost their homes in the tornado.
Today, the HOT Coliseum is Extraco Events Center.