The Dallas Burn, along with Hunt Sports Group (HSG) founder Lamar Hunt, announced Wednesday that the team will change its name and image to coincide with the organization's move in 2005 to the sparkling new 20,000 seat soccer specific stadium at the Frisco Soccer & Entertainment Center.
Hunt emphasized that the change is being made to create a fresh, new, vibrant team identity that encompasses the image of the new facility as well as the roots of the game in North Texas, the United States and around the world.
Upon Major League Soccer's inception in 1996, the development of team names was a cooperative effort between the league and each team's respective licensee. The Dallas Burn name originated as a result of the organization's affiliation as a league operated team.
In light of HSG assuming operation of the team in 2003, the opportunity now exists to create a team name and identity that will be representative of the investor's vision for the team, the traditions of the sport, and the Hunt family legacy in soccer, which dates back to 1967.
"The new Dallas MLS team name has already been selected and will be representative of the nature of the sport and will, we believe, be all-inclusive for those who follow the game," said Hunt. "While the Burn has certainly enjoyed its share of success in the league's first eight-plus years, we feel now is the appropriate time to select a new team name that is more synonymous with the sport and one that all fans can identify with and rally around."
"HSG executives worked in tandem with key members of the Dallas Burn front office staff and we believe that we have settled on a name that our fans will embrace," said HSG president John Wagner. "Because of licensing deadlines for the 2005 season, we needed to move ahead in an aggressive manner and identify the new team name. However, we still want to involve our fans in the process, so we have created the 'Dallas Soccer - Guess the Name' contest."
Here's how the contest will work:
1) via letter or postcard to "Dallas Soccer - Guess the Name" Contest, 14800 Quorum Drive, #300, Dallas, TX 75254
2) Via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
3) At www.dallasburn.com
"A pair of season tickets for the 2005 season in our new Frisco Stadium is a significant prize for the winner," said Burn president and general manager Greg Elliott. "The name has been selected and will remain confidential until early August, but we feel it is important to keep the fans in the Metroplex involved with the process. Hopefully they will have a lot of fun with us in this contest."
Hunt, in his 45th year of association with professional sports and his second as Investor / Operator of the Dallas Burn, said that the announcement of the new team name will likely occur during the week of Aug. 9.
The current Dallas Burn name will be applicable to all team activities until the conclusion of the entire 2004 MLS season.