FC Dallas successfully hosted its second Town Hall Meeting in sixth months on Tuesday. The team demonstrated how much importance it places on being accessible, honest and fan-friendly with its supporters by inviting all its key stakeholders to this meeting.
At the podium at the Marriott in Addison were goalkeeper Jeff Cassar, midfielder Ronnie O'Brien, head coach Colin Clarke, Hunt Sports Group President John Wagner and FC Dallas President and General Manager Greg Elliott. Along with the supporting fan base in the audience were FC Dallas Investor-Operator Lamar Hunt and Mayor of Frisco Mike Simpson.
The meeting began with introductions from Hunt, the staff, the coach and the players. Elliott then began a comprehensive power-point presentation focusing on the 2004 season in review, the 2005 vision for the team, and Frisco Soccer & Entertainment Center (FS&EC) construction updates.
During the 2004 season in review segment, Elliott spoke about creating a championship caliber organization on and off the field. Elliott assessed a 2004 synopsis in areas such as the new Web site, marketing, advertising, public relations, Hispanic marketing, community outreach, sponsorship, broadcast, administration, ticket sales and team performance. He went on to say that in all departments there were improvements and strides made, but that the soccer club was still on its way to achieving greater goals.
Elliott then moved on to 2005 and the vision FC Dallas has for moving into the new Frisco complex in the spring. Again, he assessed each area of the organization and showed the multiple upgrades that are in progress within each department.
Listed below are the bullet-points from this segment:
Leveraged a new Web site, including a new site dedicated solely to the FS&EC.
Expanded 2005 marketing and advertising budget, targeting a demographic and geographic strategy.
Increased the pace dramatically in Public Relations.
Maintained old relationships with Hispanic community and is establishing new friends within that market. Also is working directly with Latin Leagues to determine league and tournament play opportunities at FS&EC.
Pursuing a defined mission with a effort for visibility within the Community Outreach area.
Announced a new partnership with 990 AM Texas Talk Radio that will place all home and road matches on English language radio. Will also hold 32 weekly FC Dallas shows on 990 AM.
Ongoing dialogue with multiple partners on naming rights for FS&EC.
Looking to sell out every home match and will easily surpass organization FSE sales record of 2,200 prior to the holidays.
Determined that the club has a responsibility to enhance youth soccer in North Texas. Goal is to make North Texas the epicenter of the youth soccer universe in America. Announced that the Boys and Girls Classic Leagues have signed nine-year deals with FS&EC.
Announced a four-year contract extension with O'Brien.
Elliott finished his presentation with an FS&EC construction update. With the harsh rain over the spring and summer of 2004, the team is targeting May 2005 as the home opener for the squad. The exact date of the opener will be determined in the next 45 days with the match probably coming on ESPN2 against the Chicago Fire. The soccer field complex will likely be ready before the home opener.
After the presentation made by Elliott, there was a question-and-answer session with the supporters. The questions ranged from everything from the 2004 MLS Expansion Draft (Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. CT on ESPNews) to MLS Cup 2005 (team has put a bid in for match to be in Frisco). The fans wondered about the new jerseys (still working with Adidas on finalizing them), if FC Dallas was staying in the West (it looks like it), and how much passion the organization possesses as they move into a new facility. The passion question had many follow-up answers including Elliott, O'Brien and even a few fans who all pretty much had the same answer: Each would give their heart and soul for this organization and were looking forward to playing (or cheering) in a stadium as tremendous as the FS&EC.
After the meeting was technically over, Greg Elliott, Lamar Hunt and John Wagner all stayed around to answer one-on-one questions from the fans. It was a fitting end to a night that was all about the fans. These Town Hall Meetings will continue in the future as FC Dallas continues to stress that there would not be an FC Dallas without its fans.