Saturday, March 10, 2012
FC Dallas Stadium sold out for season opener
By David Stein
FRISCO, Texas -- FC Dallas' season opener against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday is sold out. FC Dallas president and CEO Doug Quinn takes it as another sign that soccer is exploding in Dallas-Fort Worth.
"We tripled season tickets last year. We have doubled season tickets this year," Quinn said at the team's final practice before the season opener. "There's so much positive energy at almost every metric you can possibly look at. Somebody's liking us."
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said it's not just good for the fans. His players are responding to the hype.
"Our administration has worked so hard for this game to be a sellout," Hyndman said. "I think that's so inspiring for any athlete. We're hoping we can play well."
Soccer still isn't near the level of traditional American professional sports like football or baseball, but Quinn said he believes it's getting closer every day.
In fact, thanks to big fan bases like Seattle and Los Angeles, Major League Soccer had a higher average attendance last season than the NBA or the NHL.
If that wasn't enough evidence, FC Dallas has 17 fields at its complex in Frisco that are used 350 days per year, according to Quinn.
"Frisco is not that far. That's the one thing I always say," Quinn said. "It's a great day of entertainment. We hope more and more will continue to follow those who are already coming out."
Nothing would build up the momentum better than beating the team that took FC Dallas out of the playoffs last season.
"It's no mystery that we're not in love with New York," Quinn said. "It's big for us. They're a big team and people like to see them. An opening-day win is always a positive."
Hyndman said he knows a big win would be a good start to keep fans coming back for more.
"The fans want to go home winners," Hyndman said. "This is their team."
Sunday's game starts at 2 p.m. at FC Dallas Stadium.