Going downtown: Dallas Cup 2013 moves from FC Dallas Stadium to Cotton Bowl
By Charles Boehm
The prestigious Dallas Cup youth tournament is relocating its home base for its 2013 edition, swapping FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas for the Cotton Bowl.
The move represents a return to a more central location in Dallas proper after six years in Frisco, a northern exurb which offers a professional-grade fields complex and stadium but relatively remote location.
“For the tournament, it’s going back to its roots, being in Dallas proper, and it gives us an opportunity to be part of everything the city of Dallas has to offer,” Dallas Cup executive director Andy Swift told the Dallas Morning News.
Dallas Cup 2013 will take place March 24-31.
“We’re excited to return the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup to our city and historic Fair Park,” said Phillip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, in a press release. “With its more than $12.6 million economic impact, the Dallas Cup will be one of the largest annual sporting events held in Dallas.”
The Cotton Bowl will host Dallas Cup “Super Group” play, which features an impressive list of youth teams from professional clubs around the world, with other tournament games taking place at Richland College and the University of Texas at Dallas. Teams already secured for the 2013 Super Group include Under-19 or academy teams from Fulham FC (England), Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany), Tigres UANL (Mexico) and Coritiba FC and Fluminense FC (Brazil).
The 81-year-old Cotton Bowl has a far larger seating capacity than needed for Dallas Cup matches but is known for its immaculate grass playing surface and is centrally located in Fair Park, the downtown area which hosts the State Fair of Texas. The stadium is also rich in soccer history, having hosted FIFA World Cup matches in 1994 and played home to MLS side Dallas Burn from 1996-2005.
Tournament organizers acknowledged that rising costs at the FC Dallas Stadium complex also played a role in the decision.
“Well, finances played a role, but by no means were they the only reason,” Swift said to Morning News contributor Steve Hunt. “FC Dallas cannot be blamed for putting a premium on their fees to host events there. As high-quality as those fields are in Frisco, we have to remember that the Cotton Bowl has long been considered one of the best soccer fields in the country.”