Jason Davis explains that the saying "Everything's bigger in Texas" doesn't apply to the crowds at FC Dallas games in Frisco -- and the club is becoming an embarrassment to the league. The announced crowd of 8,016 for its season opener last weekend at Pizza Hut Park against in-state rival Houston was nearly half the size of last year's opener.
Of the eight clubs that opened the season at home, only two saw a drop from their 2009 home opener attendance (Columbus and FC Dallas). Both happen to be owned by the Hunts Sports Group, currently controlled by Clark Hunt, son of the late American soccer pioneer Lamar, perhaps the American game's most important benefactor.
HSG does do OK on the bottom line, because soccer is just one of their revenue streams. Pizza Hut Park is as much a concert venue as it is a soccer stadium. But Davis thinks the league should be very concerned about the low crowds for the club in one of America's traditional soccer hotbeds.
Pizza Hut Park is one of the nation's finest soccer venues, but it's location was a result of the club taking the only deal offered and it put its stadium too far from the region's population center and its Hispanic communities. With more time to market the club, educate the fans about where they play, and make inroads in the community they now inhabit, how is it possible for the club's attendance to be decreasing? Regardless of why it's happening, it seems obvious that something needs to be done.