Dallas Soccer: Pizza Hut Park

FC Dallas, Leon to square off in friendly

July, 12, 2012
FC Dallas will host newly ascended Mexican First Division club Leon FC at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at Pizza Hut Park.

Leon, a five-time First Division champion, returned to Mexico's top group in the spring after 10 years in the lower ranks. The club is enjoying a good Apertura 2012 preseason, topping Cruz Azul, Pumas and defending champion Santos.

FC Dallas forward Blas Perez spent the 2010-11 season with Leon, where he scored 19 goals in 28 appearances.

Pizza Hut ending stadium sponsorship

December, 21, 2011
As of Jan. 1, Pizza Hut will no longer be sponsoring FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park. The complex, which includes the stadium and 17 adjacent soccer fields, will officially be re-branded FC Dallas Stadium after the Football Championship Subdivision title game Jan. 7.

In this current economic climate it should come as no surprise that corporations (including Pizza Hut) are pulling back in the area of sponsorships, Cowboys Stadium has never landed a sponsor and Rangers Ballpark has gone through several, but this news may still gall FCD fans a little coming on the heels of the new stadium rights deal for the Houston Dynamo.

Already seeking a jersey sponsor, FC Dallas will now add a stadium sponsorship to the ongoing sponsor search for quality corporations with sponsor cash to spend. Here's the official statement I got from the club when I asked about specifics.
Pizza Hut, as the company has recently shown with some of its other venue agreements, has shifted its sports marketing philosophy and will no longer be our naming rights partner. We are actively searching for a new naming rights partner for the stadium and are in discussions with several interested companies. Meanwhile, after the FCS game on Jan. 7, we will be referred to as FC Dallas Stadium until a new deal is reached.

Removal of Pizza Hut signage from the soon to named FC Dallas Stadium should began in the next few weeks.

FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park win an award for their field

December, 6, 2011
Here's a little award I didn't even know existed, but winning it goes to prove what many have said all along... that Pizza Hut Park has the best surface in MLS. How important this is in the world of field management I don't know, but it's still kinda cool to hear about.

The SportsTurf Managers Association Association has named the Pizza Hut Park stadium field as its 2011 Field of the Year in the professional soccer category.

“Allen Reed and Miles Studhalter did a fantastic job this past year dealing with a record heat wave and record number of events in the stadium,” said Tom Jones, FC Dallas vice president of complex management. “The stadium field performed better than it ever has, and I am very proud of the work they have accomplished this year.”

A panel of six judges independently scored each entry and presented awards based on the playability and appearance of the playing surfaces, innovative solutions employed, effective use of budget, and the development and implementation of a comprehensive, sound agronomic program.

Winners will be presented with their award during the Annual STMA Awards Banquet on Fri., Jan. 13, 2012, at the Hyatt Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif.
In celebration of clinching its second consecutive berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs, FC Dallas is inviting fans to join the team for a playoff pep rally presented by Cash America at Pizza Hut Park from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23.

The event kicks off when the team returns to Pizza Hut Park from this weekend’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes. The entire FC Dallas team will be on hand to celebrate with fans in the Budweiser Beer Garden. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Currently tied with rival Real Salt Lake, an FC Dallas win or tie against the Earthquakes on Saturday coupled with an RSL loss, would boost the defending Western Conference Champions into a spot in the Western Conference Semifinals against Seattle Sounders FC. Should RSL defeat the Portland Timbers at Rio Tinto Stadium this Saturday, Dallas would remain in the first wild card position and face the fourth place wild card team on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Pizza Hut Park.

Bolstered by the play of MLS MVP candidate Brek Shea, FC Dallas (15-11-7, 52 points) equaled the club record for points in a season Saturday when it defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-0. The clean sheet was also goalkeeper Kevin Hartman’s 13th of the season, further extending his franchise record.

Red Bull Copa de Calle Finals at Pizza Hut Park Saturday

September, 16, 2011
Red Bull Copa de Calle is a 2-on-2 soccer tournament consisting of 11 qualifying rounds in the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio areas. The finals of the tournament are at Pizza Hut Park this Saturday before the FC Dallas game against New York Red Bulls.

Each qualifier consists of 10-minute games where winners stay on the field, advancing to the next round. Teams are allowed one sub to help them hang on as long as possible. No official uniforms required, but spirit, competitiveness and sportsmanship are part of the event.

All games will be played 2 hours before the start of the FC Dallas game.

2010-11 Developmental Academy playoffs at Pizza Hut Park next week

June, 21, 2011
It's going to be quite busy at Pizza Hut Park next week as the 2010-11 Developmental Academy playoffs will be taking place there. 64 teams will be in town from June 24th to the 28th competing for the title. FC Dallas is ranked 2nd in the U17/18 bracket and 20th in the U15/16 level.

Each of the top two teams in the Development Academy’s 10 divisions earn automatic qualification to the Playoffs, with the remaining 12 spots open to wildcard teams that have the best overall points per game average across the full season. The 32 teams in each age group were placed into four pots based on overall seeding and were then randomly drawn into eight groups of four. The top finisher in each group will move on to the fourth annual Development Academy Finals Week, which will be held from July 9-16 at three venues in Milwaukee, Wis.

Charlotte Soccer Academy , Concorde Fire, Seattle Sounders FC, LA Galaxy, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri, North Meck SC, North Carolina Fusion and Solar Chelsea SC represent the top-seeded teams in each of the eight groups at the U-15/16 age level.

CASL Chelsea FC, FC Dallas, Charlotte Soccer Academy, New York Red Bulls, Weston FC, PDA, Seattle Sounders FC and North Carolina Fusion are the top eight seeds in the U-17/18 age group, and will head the U-17/18 playoff groups.

Sueno Dallas

April, 15, 2011
MLS Sueño is back for a new year, this time with multiple venues.

Sueño Dallas took place April 9th and 10th. where contestants tried out for a chance to be 1 of 6 finalists. The finalists announced this Sunday, April 17th, on Univision's Republica Deportiva. May 5th to the 8th the “Final Event” will take place at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX, hosted by FC Dallas. May 8 will see the announcement of winner on Univision Network’s República Deportiva.

MLS put together a recap of the Dallas weekend...

And a profile of one of the participants in the event, Anthony Ortega...

I just posted in the previous post some info on the 2011 MLS All-Star Game, all of which came from a fairly large press release from MLS. One line I didn't post, in addition to making me wonder who wrote the press release, also got me thinking. Here's the line, emphasis added by me.

The New York Red Bulls will host the AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Red Bull Arena, which is considered the premier soccer facility in the United States.

Now I admit it's a heck of a stadium. But is it the premier soccer facility in the Unites States? What makes a stadium the premier facility? Being the newest, biggest, most modern? Can the new Philly stadium make the case? If you include the fields might be the premier complex in the US. What about Cowboys Stadium or the new Giants Stadium when they host soccer? Where does Red Bull fit in?

So that's the question for today. I myself have not been to Red Bull Arena. But I have been to the Home Depot Center, which I still consider the premier soccer facility in the United States.

So, informal survey time, what do you think? What's the premier soccer facility in the United States?