History of Barton Coliseum:
Barton had an interest in livestock. He worked on his family farm as a boy. As an adult, he worked closely with the Arkansas Livestock Show Association and helped established the Arkansas State Fair. It was his financial support that built the Barton Coliseum.
Barton Coliseum was dedicated September 29, 1952.
Barton Coliseum Then:
Barton used to be general admission for concerts and people would line up in advance to get a good seat. You could, if fast enough, get right up next to the stage. This was before the days of scalped first row seats.
It was also always the home to the Arkansas State Fair Rodeo, circuses, graduations, basketball games and the like.
Barton Coliseum Now:
It's also home some events at the Arkansas State Fair. Since there is no longer a Arkansas State Fair Rodeo, it hosts bull riding and other events associated with the Arkansas State Fair.
Most of the other events previously held at Barton Coliseum, like circuses, monster truck rallies and graduations, are now held at Verizon Arena, in North Little Rock.
In 2013, it was cleaned up and became the temporary home of the The Arkansas High School State Finals basketball tournament. Many people who attended were impressed at the remodel. The complaints cam from the noise level at the venue (apparently it as very loud, and was almost impossible for the media to interview coaches and athletes). However, students commented that the venue allowed for a more intimate experience, because they got to be right next to the action on the court.