For Hunt Sports Group vice president Dan Hunt, FC Dallas represent far more than a business. It is his father Lamar’s legacy as a pioneer of professional soccer in the United States and particularly in Dallas. It is the building of Toyota Stadium, which was the last opportunity Hunt had to work with his late father before he passed away in 2006.
For Dan and the rest of the Hunts, FC Dallas are about family.
“I wouldn’t put a value on it because this is not an asset we want to sell,” Hunt told reporters in a conference call on Thursday. “This organization is so special in our hearts and we cherish this. This was my father’s dream and our family’s dream. This is the last project I got to do with my dad, so I don’t even want to put a value on something we’re not willing to sell.”
HSG at one time owned three Major League Soccer franchises, but sold the then-Kansas City Wizards in 2006 and the Columbus Crew earlier this year. But FCD and the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs (founded by Lamar Hunt in 1959 as the Dallas Texans in the old AFL) will always be associated with the Hunt family if all goes according to the long-term plans of HSG president Clark Hunt and his brother Dan.
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“We want to keep this as a family business,” said Dan Hunt. “This is our father’s legacy, Lamar, and many of the grandchildren knew him very well. ... These are things that all members of our family cherish very much, so that’s the goal, is to keep the Chiefs and FC Dallas in our family for generations.”
So while investors looking to join MLS shouldn’t bother making an offer for FC Dallas, Hunt did say he hopes to see another opportunity in Texas for deep-pocketed business people interested in owning a franchise. MLS announced plans for another four expansion teams by 2020, and speculation has run rife as to what cities are the best candidates.
“I would personally, taken from an FC Dallas standpoint, love to see expansion in San Antonio,” said Hunt. “Maybe Austin could support it. But from my perspective, having a Dallas team, a Houston team, a San Antonio team – that would be really great and create a great rivalry and competition within those clubs.”