Pizza Hut, the world's largest pizza restaurant company, Hunt Sports Group and FC Dallas of Major League Soccer, today announced a 20-year agreement establishing Pizza Hut Park as the title sponsor of the new FC Dallas soccer stadium and soccer complex in Frisco, Texas. Peter Hearl, Pizza Hut president and chief concept officer, and Lamar Hunt, chairman of Hunt Sports Group, unveiled the park name, logo and details of the long-term agreement that makes Pizza Hut the facility's Naming Rights partner for the entire complex, including the stadium and 17 additional international quality soccer fields.
As the industry leader in the pizza category, Pizza Hut is setting a new standard by becoming the first Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) chain in the United States to put its name on a major sports facility. No other major league baseball, football, basketball, hockey or soccer venue has a QSR as its Naming Rights partner
"Pizza Hut® has been part of the broader Dallas community for nine years and as the "Family Pizza People," we're delighted to now be associated with a facility that is destined to become a beacon for family fun and youth entertainment in North Texas," said Hearl.
Lamar Hunt, who is in his 46th year of association with professional sports, expressed appreciation for the support and long-term commitment of Pizza Hut® and added, "We feel the use of the term "Park" is particularly appropriate in relation to the magnificent facilities being built in Frisco. The current Major League Baseball World Series Champion Boston Red Sox play in a facility ("Fenway") that incorporates a well known "Park" name. Additionally, Pizza Hut Park joins a prominent list of other international soccer facilities that incorporate the word "park" in the names. These include: Celtic Park (home of Scotland's Glasgow Celtic), Ibrox (Scotland's Glasgow Rangers) and at least four prominent English professional teams - St. James' Park (Newcastle United), Goodison Park (Everton), Ewood Park (Blackburn Rovers) and Selhurst Park (Crystal Palace)."
Under the Naming Rights agreement, the Pizza Hut® and Pizza Hut PARK logos will appear extensively throughout both the stadium and soccer park. Pizza Hut products will be served at three branded locations - two inside the stadium and one within the soccer park. The agreement makes Pizza Hut the exclusive sponsor of FC Dallas and the North Texas State Soccer Association within each brand's respective food categories.
About Pizza Hut Park
Located at the intersection of Main Street and the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco, Texas, Pizza Hut Park is a unique 117-acre facility set to open on August 6, when FC Dallas hosts the MetroStars in a regular season Major League Soccer match. The facility is a first-of-its-kind and features a 21,193 capacity soccer specific stadium that will host all FC Dallas MLS matches, U.S. Men's and Women's National Team as well as other International games, major concert events, Frisco High School football games and other community events. Adjacent to the stadium are 17 championship quality soccer fields that will be available year-round to host youth team practices and also serve as the playing site of regional, national and international soccer competitions.
In addition to professional soccer action, Pizza Hut Park will be a prime focal point of youth and adult amateur soccer in the region. An estimated 1.4 million participants and spectators are expected to visit the facility annually. North Texas State Soccer Association (NTSSA), the largest joint youth and adult soccer association in the United States, is already on board via a long-term marketing partnership with the complex, which will further enhance brand awareness throughout the region.
NTSSA is relocating its headquarters to Pizza Hut Park and has committed to bringing to the facility a number of the annual tournaments it hosts annually. John Sutter, president of The North Texas State Soccer Association, expressed his excitement in welcoming Pizza Hut® into the association with the NTSSA family. "We're extremely happy Pizza Hut will be associated with the Frisco facility," Commented Sutter. "To have a family-oriented company like Pizza Hut linked to North Texas Soccer and this truly unique soccer facility strongly reinforces the positive forward thinking image of our sport. I don't believe you can find a better match than soccer, the ultimate team sport, and Pizza Hut® pizza, the ultimate team meal."
In addition to NTSSA being on site, the United States Youth Soccer Association will also relocate their National Headquarters to Pizza Hut Park. US Youth Soccer is the largest member of the US Soccer, the governing body for the sport in the United States. Another permanent tenant of Pizza Hut Park will include the Baylor Health Care System, which will have a 6,000 square foot rehabilitation center built seamlessly into the northwest corner of the stadium adjacent to the FC Dallas offices.
A facility built by both private and public funds, Pizza Hut Park was made possible by an innovative public and private partnership between the Hunt Sports Group, the City of Frisco and its Economic and Community Development Corporation, as well as Collin County and the Frisco Independent School District.
The first event in the stadium will be the FC Dallas vs. MetroStars MLS game on August 6. It will be the first of ten 2005 regular season FCD games at Pizza Hut Park. On November 13, Pizza Hut Park will also serve as the host site for the Major League Soccer's Championship Game - MLS Cup - 2005.
"Thanks to the commitment of the Hunt family and Pizza Hut, soccer fans in Dallas and throughout the U.S. can celebrate the great sport of soccer in one of the greatest soccer complexes in the world," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "Pizza Hut Park will not only be home to FC Dallas and the site of many national and international soccer matches, but importantly, it will be the focal point for the entire Texas soccer community."
About Pizza Hut
As the world's largest pizza restaurant company with nearly 6,400 units in the United States and more than 4,000 units in 100 other countries, Pizza Hut, Inc., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) has been the place families have gathered for 47 years. The company's legacy of leadership and innovation has made it the recognized leader in the $37 billion pizza category. Those hungry for more information can go to the official Pizza Hut web site at www.pizzahut.com.