Talk to your average sports fan, and they’re likely to tell you that they’re the ones who truly have the best city for all things sports. Whether they point to the number professional sports teams they have, the loyalty of the fan base, or championship banners, hometown enthusiasts are quick to come to the defense of their neck of the woods in the unanswerable question of which city stands supreme in sports fandom.
Perhaps a better argument to be had is what makes for a great sports city. If you’re from Texas – or have any familiarity with the teams that come from the Lone Star State – you’d be hard-pressed to deny that Dallas passes the test with flying colors.
Long-time Texas residents would surely agree, but objective sources have indicated as such. In 2011, for example, The Sporting News awarded Dallas with its ‘Best Sports City‘ distinction.
“When it comes to big-time sports, we’ve got plenty to cheer about and plenty to cheer for,” said Betsy Price, mayor of Fort Worth.
She added at the time that a fitting alternative name for the Dallas-Ft. Worth region might be ‘Titletown USA,’ referencing the 2011 world champion Dallas Mavericks, who won their first NBA Championship since entering the league in 1980.
The venue in which the Mavericks play is pretty impressive as well. American Airlines Center, which opened in 2000, seats 19,200 sports fans for Mavericks games and 18,500 ice hockey fans.
Given the warm climate of Dallas, you may not consider it to be a hockey hub, but Stars fans would likely beg to differ. Founded in 1967 and relocated to Dallas in 1993 from Minnesota, the Stars franchise has been very familiar with success over the years. Since relocating to Dallas, the organization has won seven division titles, two president’s trophies – an annual award that goes to the team with the best record – made two Western Conference championship appearances, and one stint in the Stanley Cup Final. With a winning record thus far this year, hockey experts say they will likely make another post-season appearance.
No reference of Dallas’ sports teams is complete without making mention of the Dallas Cowboys. Affectionately known as “America’s Team,” the Cowboys have done their hometown fans and national fan base proud over the years. The organization also holds an elite status in the National Football League, being one of a small handful of teams to have won three Super Bowl titles or more, the others being the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Francisco 49ers.
World champions need to be housed in a stadium fitting of a titleholder, and the franchise certainly has it in AT&T Stadium. Opening in 2009, the gargantuan stadium on One Legends Way seats more than 105,000 people for football games and even more for basketball. There’s also an enormous, high-definition video screen that stretches nearly the length of a football field.
Not to be outdone is Toyota Stadium, home to soccer team FC Dallas, which kicked off its season in early March. The multipurpose sports and entertainment facility opened in 2005, covering 145 acres in Frisco, conveniently located at the intersection of Main Street and the Dallas North Tollway.
Though FC Dallas doesn’t have as many titles as its American football contemporary – winning the MLS Cup in 1996 when they were known as the Dallas Burn – the team has tremendous potential and boasts top-tier talent in MLS, like Walker Zimmerman.
“MLS continues to gain popularity, and FC Dallas has a very dedicated fan base,” said Gary Schneider, president and general manager of TXA 21, the network that televises FC Dallas’ games.
There’s a lot to like about Dallas, and if you’re a sports fan, the city’s successes bring new meaning to why everything is indeed bigger and better in Texas.