To say that football is a big deal in Texas might be the understatement of the year. From “America’s Team” - The Dallas Cowboys - having planted their roots in the DFW area decades ago, to $60 million dollar stadiums for high school teams, to intense training at the peewee level, the roots of football in Texas run deep. But what if I were to tell you that there was a new kind of “football” on the rise in Texas?
FC Dallas Major League Soccer was established in 1995 as one of Major League Soccer’s charter members. FC Dallas supporters are more than just fans, they are part of the team. They chant, cheer, jump, and wave banners in order to intimidate the opponent and will the home team to victory. Supporters don't just watch the game, they change the game. The FC Dallas experience is designed to engage with the fans, especially the kids. Unlike the Cowboys where a dream to meet the players may never be fulfilled, FC Dallas provides numerous opportunities to obtain autographs from players, behind-the-scenes access, or even the opportunity to walk on the field with the players at the start of the game, an exciting opportunity rarely found in other sports.
But FC Dallas’ investment in kids doesn’t stop at the stadium walls. The FC Dallas Foundation was established to find ways to give back to the community, especially disadvantaged youth. From building high-end soccer fields in underprivileged neighborhoods, to hosting soccer clinics and promoting healthy lifestyles, the FC Dallas team has been dedicated to helping kids succeed on and off the field.
The games definitely have an advantage from a financial perspective as well. Where you can pay up to $120 just to park at a Dallas Cowboys football game, you can gain admittance for a family of four to an FC Dallas game at the same price, and parking is free. For families who like to stick to a schedule, soccer provides another bonus: games are 90 minutes long, with 20 minutes for half time. And for dads with road rage, you can relax at FC Dallas: with the toll way just a soccer ball kick away from the parking lot, post-game traffic jams are something you won’t have to worry about.
2013 has been an especially exciting year for FC Dallas, with an undefeated home game record including an intense 3-2 home game win against their in-state rival, the Houston Dynamo. But the most-anticipated game of the season is still to come: the April 13 game against FC Dallas’ long-standing rival team, the Los Angeles Galaxy. With FC Dallas currently in first place in the Western Conference, and LA Galaxy the two-time defending MLS Cup champions, this game is guaranteed to bring fans to the edge of their seat – if they can even get one! The FC Dallas/LA Galaxy game has been standing room only for three years in a row, and set the all-time single-game attendance record last season with 21,867 fans in attendance!