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From sleepy suburb to Sports City, U.S.A.

Home to seven professional sports franchises, Frisco is a major league city

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From FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium to the Cowboys at the Star, Frisco has transformed into Sports City, U.S.A.

The 26th largest city in Texas, it may seem like a minor league town, but from America’s team to the Texas RangersDouble A franchise, there’s a reason Frisco’s nickname is Sports City USA. What once started as a small outpost 25 miles north of Dallas, has turned into a hotspot for professional play.

It began in 2003 when the Dallas Stars began practicing at Dr Pepper Arena when the facility opened.

“Our goal is to get sticks in hand,” Stars Executive Vice President Jason Farris said to Visit Frisco. “Seeing players practice gives kids something to aspire to. They can visualize themselves as NHL players, which, in turn, can be enough to set them on the path. The byproduct is that young residents become interested in hockey, not only as fans, but as players. I predict we’ll see a lot of outstanding pro hockey players come from Texas in the next decade.”

The Roughriders, the Double A minor league baseball team of the Texas Rangers, also set foot in Frisco in 2003 when Dr Pepper Ballpark first opened its doors.

I don’t think anybody could’ve ever anticipated just how vibrant Frisco has become and just sort of the spillover from folks that work in Dallas and live here in Collin County,”

— Roughriders executive vice president and general manager Jason Dambach

“This certainly was an area of growth, but I don’t think anybody could’ve ever anticipated just how vibrant Frisco has become and just sort of the spillover from folks that work in Dallas and live here in Collin County,” executive vice president and general manager of the Roughriders Jason Dambach said. “The growth that we’ve seen of young people and families, it’s really the perfect demographic for a professional baseball team and we’re very fortunate to call Frisco home.”

Following the Roughriders, FC Dallas, formerly the Dallas Burn, took Frisco to a new level after relocating to Toyota Stadium in 2005 and helping build a relationship between FISD, the city, and its sports’ teams.

“Being in the sports business for a long period of time, when you see local city governments that are willing to work together with private partnership plus a school district whose interested in doing it, it all comes together to form these sports ventures,” President of FC Dallas Dan Hunt said. “They’re the most successful. The biggest issue with stadiums and fields is that they can sit empty a lot of the time. Being able to work with the school district, we are able to fill those fields and fill the stadium with events. Between high school sports, I bet there are 30-40 high school games a year inside our main stadium. Going to the right community makes the biggest difference and you need the support of the local community.”

But whether it’s the MLS or minor league baseball, perhaps nothing stamped Frisco as a major league player than the 2016 arrival of the Dallas Cowboys and the opening of The Star, the team’s new world headquarters.

Maddie Owens
Already home to the AA minor league franchise of the Texas Rangers, along with the MLS team FC Dallas and several other sports franchises, Frisco became even more of a sports city when the Dallas Cowboys moved its world headquarters to the city in 2016.

“The entire area of Frisco is family because it’s been that kind of joint venture,” Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said to Wingspan in 2016. “To have Frisco place that kind of faith in it is just inspiring and I want you to know when we started this, I thought I was not going to spend the kind of money I spent but because of you, because of the project, because of just how it has evolved, I not only made a much bigger commitment than I thought, but I’m proud of every penny and I’m proud of what it’s going to mean to Frisco and its future.”

Stamping its’ star of approval on Frisco by moving its operations to the city in 2016, the Cowboys have helped spur that arrival of more sports franchises. The indoor football team, the Texas Revolution, relocated to Frisco in 2017, drawn by its’ flourishing economy.

“The economic development corporation in Frisco is very unique,” CEO of Texas Revolution Tommy Benizio said. “There is an arm of the city that most towns have called an economic development corporation that tries very hard to recruit new business to the city. The city will take part of their tax income and spend it back enticing businesses to come here, to help them, to support them. And we were fortunate enough that the economic development folks wanted to make sure that not only we came here, but were successful so that was really a blessing.”

The latest addition to Frisco’s sports scene, the Dallas Rattlers, a professional lacrosse team, opens its inaugural season at The Star on April 29. Moving from Rochester, New York, the team looks to integrate FISD as quickly as possible.

The goal for us is to spread the game of lacrosse. It’s hard to understand lacrosse unless you put a stick in your hand and try to toss every once in a while. I stuck sticks in kids hands and they start playing. That’s our goal,”

— President of the Dallas Rattlers Bill Goren

“We work directly with them to do a teacher appreciation day, a student appreciation day as well and I’m looking at doing possibly bringing lacrosse into the PE or classrooms,” President of the Dallas Rattlers Bill Goren said. “So we are building a program with one of our sponsors and we’re going to present it to FISD to potentially come in for a couple of days and teach kids lacrosse. The goal for us is to spread the game of lacrosse. It’s hard to understand lacrosse unless you put a stick in your hand and try to toss every once in a while. I stuck sticks in kids hands and they start playing. That’s our goal.”

Adding to the mix, the G League franchise the Texas Legends, a minor league affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks that adds up to seven teams working hand in hand with the city of Frisco and FISD, helping cement Frisco’s  nickname of “Sports City, U.S.A.”

“We have an outstanding relationship with the city of Frisco,” Dambach said. “I would say it’s got to be among the best partnerships between a franchise and a city government that exists. They’re very proactive, very forward thinking, excellent communicators. They’ve done right by us. I feel like we’ve done right in doing our job in attracting the fans and providing important opportunities here for hundreds of folks on a full time and a part-time seasonal basis. It’s really been a terrific partnership and we look forward to it continuing many many years down the road.”

About the Contributors
Kasey Harvey, Editor-in-Chief
Kasey Harvey is a junior and is starting her third year of Wingspan with this being her first as editor-in-chief. She enjoys finding local hotspots whether that be restaurants, boutiques, or scenery down a dirt road. Road trips are one of her favorite things to do and she will hardly ever say no to an adventure. Kasey...
Carter Brock, WTV Sports Producer
Carter is a junior. He plays basketball for the school and also enjoys soccer and fantasy football. In his free time he enjoys spending time with friends and hanging out outside. He has been on the WTV staff since his sophomore year and is an assistant sports producer. Contact Carter: [email protected] 
Maddie Owens, Executive Producer
Maddie Owens is a junior and loves editing videos, and has been actively involved in broadcast since freshman year. She has also taken the role of Wingspan’s first ever Junior Executive Producer. Her ability to say the alphabet backwards is one of her few talents. Game of Thrones takes up most of her free time...
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From sleepy suburb to Sports City, U.S.A.