Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced Friday that MLS Cup 2005 will be held at the Frisco (Texas) Soccer & Entertainment Center, the future home of FC Dallas. The facility, scheduled to open in the spring of 2005, will host the league's 10th championship match on Nov. 13 next year.
The announcement will bring MLS Cup to Texas for the first time in history. It will also mark the fourth time in 10 years that the league's showcase event will be held in a soccer-specific stadium. In 2001 the final was held at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, and the 2003 event took place at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., which will also house the championship match this weekend.
The new facility in Frisco will be a massive 117-acre complex. In addition to accommodating all FC Dallas home matches, the site will also be the new corporate headquarters of the United States Youth Soccer Association (U.S. Youth Soccer). A 20-year agreement with U.S. Youth Soccer and a 15-year marketing agreement between FC Dallas and the North Texas State Soccer Association will help to make the Frisco Soccer & Entertainment Center one of the most important locales for soccer in the USA.
The centerpiece of the complex will be a 21,193-seat soccer stadium, which be used for FC Dallas games, international soccer matches, major concerts, high school football and other activities. Surrounding the stadium will be 17 full-size, tournament-grade soccer fields, which will be utilized year round. An estimated 1.4 million athletes and spectators are expected to visit the monstrous facility each year.
"It is only fitting that the league's marquee event is staged in what will be the world's largest professional and youth soccer complex in Frisco, Texas," said Garber. "The celebrations of the league's 10th season and the opening of the stadium in the new soccer capital of Texas will make 2005 a year to remember and we look forward to capping it off in Frisco with MLS Cup."
Major League Soccer in Dallas will have a fresh face next season, as FC Dallas will become the new moniker of the city's club, formerly the Dallas Burn.
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.