Frisco, Texas, a city on the north end of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, gained big accolades as Money magazine’s “Best Place to Live in America” in 2018. Add to that the seven professional sports teams that call the city home, and the recent announcement of the PGA making Frisco its new headquarters, and it’s easy to see why Frisco has earned a reputation as Sports City USA. That also spills over into meetings and events' success.
“Whether it be a game, practice or tour, meeting attendees have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to enjoying the sports scene here in Frisco,” says Marla Roe, executive director of Visit Frisco.
National Soccer Hall Of Fame
Newest on the Frisco scene is the National Soccer Hall of Fame, which opened in late 2018. Located within Toyota Stadium and the home grounds of Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas, the new venue has a highly interactive, high-tech experience for visitors, with a range of meeting and event space.
The facility honors the history and legends of soccer in the United States with more than 400 soccer items on display, including the U.S. Women’s National Team’s three World Cup trophies. The National Soccer Hall of Fame also uses cutting-edge facial recognition, gesture technology and virtual reality to offer a tailored experience for visitors. As executive director Djorn Buchholz explains, “The use of facial recognition has not been used in a space like this before.”
Visitors enjoy a customized experience by inputting details about favorite leagues, teams, positions and more. From there, 13 audiovisual stations present information relating to U.S. Soccer history and highlights. Other interactive exhibits enable fans to practice soccer skills with tips from soccer legends, protect the U.S. National team’s goal through virtual reality and even photobomb some of the most iconic moments in U.S. Soccer history.
In addition to private tours for groups, the new facility makes an outstanding venue for a meeting or group reception. The Hall of Fame Club offers views of Toyota Stadium with access to Hall of Fame exhibits and can accommodate up to 600 guests. The Open Cup Club offers function space for groups of up to 250 guests with open-air options. For sports and other events, Toyota Stadium combines a 20,000-seat stadium with a 17-field soccer complex, ideal for international and youth soccer tournaments, as well as concerts and festivals.
Nothing defines Sports City USA more than The Star District. A 91-acre mixed-use campus, The Star is best known as the world headquarters and training site of the Dallas Cowboys, the world’s most profitable sports franchise.
The Ford Center at The Star is a 12,000-seat indoor multiuse event center for sports competitions, trade shows, teambuilding and other events. Several hospitality suites are also available for groups, offering views to events and team practices. A team auditorium, war room and dining hall—all used by the pro players—are also available for meetings and special activities. For evening receptions, The Grand Atrium offers a dramatic backdrop, with glass walls overlooking the training fields, Italian marble flooring and icicle chandeliers. Private group tours of The Star are also available.
Just steps from the football field are several restaurants available for an off-site meal or reception. City Works Eatery & Pour House serves classic American fare with 90 craft beers on tap for sit-down dining or receptions for up to 500 and a roof deck. At the renowned Dee Lincoln Prime steakhouse, two private dining spaces accommodate up to 45 guests in a more formal setting.
Adjacent to The Star is Omni Frisco Hotel. The 300-room property opened in 2017 and has 24,000 square feet of meeting space, including 16 meeting rooms and a 13,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 4,500-sq.-ft. junior ballroom, two boardrooms, six breakout rooms and 3,600 square feet of outdoor function space overlooking The Star Plaza. The on-site Neighborhood Services includes a private dining space for up to 12 guests.
Frisco Convention Center
The 330-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas—Frisco/Hotel, Convention Center & Spa has 90,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 41,760-sq.-ft. ballroom, the third largest in Texas. Popular for regional association meetings, as well as exhibitions and indoor sports events, the facility completed a major renovation in September 2018.
Other space includes Dr Pepper Arena, home to the Texas Legends of the NBA G League and Dallas Stars NHL professional hockey team, which seats up to 6,000 people for concerts, indoor sports competitions, trade shows and ice-skating events. Frisco also offers several community parks and sports complexes for track and field, volleyball, tennis, swimming, cycling, rock climbing, bowling and other events.
For a sports-themed night on the town, groups can enjoy a night at the ball game in one of 22 entertainment suites or party decks at Dr Pepper Ballpark, home field Double-A Affiliate team, the Frisco Roughriders. For a truly exceptional experience, groups of up to 200 can float along the 400-foot Choctaw Lazy River, offering great views of the game with an all-inclusive hospitality package.
Another option is the National Videogame Museum. With a collection of over 100,000 video game artifacts, the space is available for group tours and receptions of up to 225, where attendees can mingle while playing Pong on a large screen, hit up the Head-to-Head Hall and enjoy a 1980s flashback in the Pixel Dreams game arcade that features favorites like Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Space Invaders.
Joining the Team
Just when one might think “Sports City USA’s” roster was full, the PGA announced it was moving its headquarters to Frisco. Ground-breaking on two championship golf courses, a short course and practice areas, a clubhouse, and a 500-room Omni resort and 127,000-sq.-ft. conference center is part of the plan. The PGA golf facilities are expected to open in summer 2022.