FC Dallas aiming to open National Soccer Hall of Fame in October 2018

National Soccer Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium rendering -- External view

FC Dallas and US Soccer are planning to open the National Soccer Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium in October 2018, FCD CEO Dan Hunt told MLSsoccer.com earlier this month.

Hunt said that the club is on track to open the south section of Toyota Stadium, which has been closed due to renovations for the last two MLS seasons, in late spring or early summer 2018. The team plans to open the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Hall of Fame club hospitality area, team store, new locker rooms and a new media center at the same time as the south stands.

They’ll hold off on opening the actual Hall of Fame museum until the 2018 induction ceremony is held at the museum in October, however. Hunt said that the induction will be held in the fall to give US Soccer a few months of lead time to prepare following next summer’s World Cup. FC Dallas and US Soccer announced in May that they were targeting the winter of 2018 to open the Hall of Fame.

When it does open, the Hall of Fame will house the US women’s national team’s three World Cup trophies, at least one gold medal from their four Olympic titles, artifacts from the USMNT’s famous win over England at the 1950 World Cup and Pele’s original, game-worn New York Cosmos jersey.

It’ll also be home to most famous sports bra in the entire world.

“Obviously the Women’s World Cup trophies are a big deal and we may be able to get a [USWNT] gold medal, but when I talked to Brandi Chastain she was willing to send her sports bra from the famous [1999] World Cup celebration, which is great,” Hunt said. “That has to have a place for me inside the Hall of Fame because that image of her celebrating [after kicking the winning penalty kick at the Rose Bowl in the World Cup final] is one of the most iconic images in American sports history.”

The Hall of Fame was located in Oneonta, N.Y. from 1979-2010, when it shut its doors due to financial difficulties. Many of the museum’s artifacts are currently in storage at the Hillsborough, N.C. headquarters of soccer outfitter Eurosport. The Hunt family began their campaign for FC Dallas and Toyota Stadium to be home of a new Hall of Fame museum in 2013, and were awarded the museum by US Soccer in September 2015.

Construction of the Hall of Fame is part of a broader, $40 million renovation of Toyota Stadium funded by FC Dallas, US Soccer, the City of Frisco and the Frisco Independent School District. In addition to the new Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Hall of Fame club, locker rooms, team store and media center, the renovations will include a 24,750 square-foot canopy that will cover nearly 3,000 seats in the south end and a pair of new in-stadium video boards.

The Hall of Fame itself will feature plenty of historic items, but Hunt said FC Dallas plan on adding a few modern elements to the museum. He said the club and US Soccer are in talks with a technology company to bring interactive elements to the museum and that he’s in the process of acquiring existing artwork and commissioning new pieces to feature in the Hall of Fame.

“There are some artistic opportunities there at the Hall of Fame that we're looking at,” he said. “I think marrying that with the technology, marrying it with the history and maybe adding a few pieces of art to go in, I think that really completes the experience. I don’t want to spoil too much that I’m working on, but it’ll be art in a traditional museum sense. I have a goal to get several pieces into the Hall of Fame. I’m excited about all of it, but I’m a lover of art, a collector of art. And to marry all three of those things I think will make the Hall of Fame experience world-class.”