In conjunction with the club's move to the Frisco Soccer and Entertainment Center in 2005, the Dallas Burn are changing their name to FC Dallas, the club and Hunt Sports Group announced Thursday.
Also accompanying the new name will be a new color scheme that features red, white and blue (the colors of both the American and Texas flags) and a hint of silver. The primary logo features the new club name and the "96" above a drawing of a bull, signifying the kind of Texas cattle that were driven along North Texas trails throughout the 19th century. The club has dubbed the animal "Tex."
"FC Dallas is a name that is representative of the sport and is all-inclusive for those in the Dallas-Fort Worth area," said HSG founder Lamar Hunt. "While the Burn has certainly enjoyed its share of success in the league's first nine years, we feel that this is the ideal time to unveil a team name that is more synonymous with the sport and one that the fans can rally around and identify with."
HSG, which also owns and operates the Kansas City Wizards and Columbus Crew, took over investor/operator of the Dallas Burn in 2002, and change came swiftly thereafter. First the club announced that it would partner with the community of Frisco, Texas, to build the Soccer and Entertainment Center and that it would play all of its home games, beginning in 2005, in a 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium that will be the centerpiece of the new complex.
Once the 2004 season has finished, the overhaul will be complete as the Burn name joins the "Wiz" (Kansas City) and "Clash" (San Jose) as MLS team nicknames that have fallen by the wayside.
According to the club, the FC Dallas name is intended to make the club immediately recognizable as a soccer team. While only one club in the nine-year history of MLS has so named itself (the now-defunct Fusion F.C., which played in Miami), many clubs around the world carry the FC moniker or some variation of it.
"The group ultimately felt very committed to finding a name that defined us and set us apart from the hundreds of other sports team names that dot the landscape," said team President and General Manager Greg Elliott. "... you clearly know you are referring to a soccer team when you say FC Dallas."
Despite the fact that, as Elliott said, "... there just has not been a significant level of acceptance of the 'Dallas Burn,'" the nickname the club has had since its inception in 1996 will not be completely lost to the ages. In designing a new primary logo for the club, the year of inception (96) and the flame from the current Burn logo were incorporated to memorialize the club's previous identity.
Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.