Frisco stadium quickly nearing reality

With dust in the air, the sounds of construction are in full swing as Frisco is less then 90 days away from welcoming the latest and greatest soccer specific stadium to the area: the Frisco Soccer and Entertainment Center, the new home of FC Dallas.

"I was up there a couple of weeks ago just after the grass went down -- it's starting to take shape and look like a stadium. We are obviously looking forward to it, but we have a lot of work to do before then, but we are very excited about it," said FC Dallas coach Colin Clarke.

There are two other soccer specific stadiums in place currently in Major League Soccer -- Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, and The Home Depot Center in suburban Los Angeles. Next year the new Bridgeview stadium will open for the Chicago Fire, and every day a new stadium for the MetroStars seems closer.

With every new construction comes milestones -- and delays, which has been the case for the FSEC.

"When you go by it now you see the vision of what we saw our rendering starting to come to fruition, a finished product. It will be a bit of a sprint to get open by (Aug. 6) -- we have been very fortunate to have dry weather," said FCD general manager Greg Elliott.

"Every time I got out there now -- which is now is about every other day -- I see something that is significant that has happened. Obviously there have been a couple of milestones -- the entire skeletal structure of the press box suite and the club area has been in place for a while -- that is being skinned in and all the infrastructure for the HVAC and plumbing. All those things have been done."

The stadium will hold 21,393 with two video boards located at each end of the stadium. But the frame of the seating bowl will provide the greatest feature -- the optimum viewing of any match.

"The highest row is row 25 and I think people don't realize -- go to any stadium right now and go to row 25 and say that is the top row and the concourse is right behind it," said Elliott.

FCD is currently on a three-game road trip -- the case for much of the season thus far. Despite playing the most away games of any team in the Western Conference, the Hoops have the best away record in the league.

"They have done a great job, they know they've got another three games on the road and it's going to be tough. They're doing well so far and hopefully they will continue," Clarke said.

The new stadium in Frisco won't be the only new football stadium coming to Big D in the near future -- the Dallas Cowboys of the American version will see their new stadium open three years after the FSEC.

"It's totally changed the way you see a match -- we refer to it as the Wrigley Field of soccer or the IMAX theatre of soccer -- just trying to make people who are non-soccer believers or people who haven't had the chance to experience a match to understand how this is going to change the way you experience that sport and it is no different then seeing a concert in a small intimate theatre," said Elliott.

"You know jumbotrons aside and all those things, it's the intimacy for our product I think is extremely paramount to the success and you throw in everything else we haven't had in the past and all the things that fans enjoy: two large jumbo screens 12 feet off the field and the one thing that we are building internally, which is customer service."

The light is at the end of the tunnel as weather gods have been on the side cooperating with construction recently.

"Things are happening at light speed. We are less than 90 days out, but it is coming together rapidly. Knock on wood, right now for every ounce of rain that fell last year it has been very dry April and May - hope that continues into June," Elliott said.

Ron Goode is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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