Pizza Hut Park wins best community impact award

DALLAS - At a banquet held on Thursday, February 23 at the Hilton Anatole, Pizza Hut Park was recognized as the recipient of the Dallas Business Journal's Best Community Impact Award for a Real Estate Project in 2005. FC Dallas owner / operator Lamar Hunt, Frisco Mayor Mike Simpson, Hunt Sports Group President John Wagner, FC Dallas General Manager Michael Hitchcock and City of Frisco officials were on hand to accept the Community Impact Award, given to a property that was judged to have created the most positive economic and social impact on a community.

The Dallas Business Journal sited the following reasons for selecting Pizza Hut Park as the winner of the Community Impact Award: The facility brought Major League Soccer to Frisco, providing an entertainment spot for residents of Frisco, Collin County, and North Texas; the stadium and soccer fields are available for use by the Frisco Independent School District; and that the complex increased sales revenue to the City of Frisco and will be a boost to the Collin County tax base because of the additional business the Park attracts to the area.

The Dallas Business Journal Best Real Estate Deals of the Year awards annually recognizes the best commercial real estate deals in the Metroplex, honoring 15 winners in various categories. Pizza Hut Park was selected for the Community Impact Award ahead of two other finalists, the Dallas Arts District and the Union Pacific Dallas Intermodal Terminal.

Opened on August 6, 2005, Pizza Hut Park is a 145-acres multipurpose sports and entertainment facility located at the intersection of Main Street and Dallas North Tollway in Frisco, Texas, and is the home stadium for FC Dallas of Major League Soccer. The $80 million public-private complex is owned by the City of Frisco in partnership with the Hunt Sports Group (HSG), the Frisco Independent School District, and Collin County.

The facility has demonstrated to be one of the top venues in the United States for both professional and amateur soccer. The complex, which includes 17 tournament-grade fields used for youth and adult soccer, as well as high school sports and other events, is expected to draw 1.5 million annual visitors including spectators and contestants. Among the highlights in the six and a half months since the opening of Pizza Hut Park:

  • August 6, 2005 - FC Dallas welcomed the MetroStars to Frisco for the first-ever event.
  • November 13, 2005 - Hosted Major League Soccer's championship game, MLS Cup 2005. A then-record 21,193 fans filled the stadium to watch the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution 1-0. The match was televised live on ABC Sports and was broadcast in more than 130 countries worldwide. Tickets to the game were purchased by fans from 43 States, the District of Columbia, and well as England, Germany and Nigeria.
  • January 7 and 8, 2006 - One of four host venues for InterLiga 2006, the annual qualifying tournament that determines two automatic berths for Mexican professional clubs to the Copa Libertadores of South America. Over 30,000 fans attended two doubleheaders featuring Chivas de Guadalajara, Tigres, Cruz Azul, Necaxa, Morelia, Veracruz, Pachuca, and Monterrey.
  • January 31, 2006 - MLS selected Pizza Hut Park to host MLS Cup for the second consecutive year. MLS Cup 2006 will be played on November 12, 2006, live on ABC Sports.
  • February 19, 2006 - Hosted the United State's Men's National Team in a World Cup preparation match against Guatemala.
  • March 1, 2006 - Preparing to host the national teams of Mexico and Ghana for their World Cup preparation match.
  • April 1, 2006 - Will host MLS First Kick - the first game of the 2006 MLS season featuring FC Dallas and the Chicago Fire, live on ABC Sports (3:00 p.m.)
  • April 9-16, 2006 - Will host the Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup XXVII - the premier international youth soccer tournament in the world featuring elite international, national and local youth soccer teams.

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