National Soccer Hall of Fame is latest addition to Frisco sports mecca

Growing up in Dallas in the 1960s, Kyle Rote Jr. remembers Frisco in the 1960s being cotton fields. Guy Newman, son of the late Ron Newman, the Dallas Tornado coach, remembers it as having apple orchards.

Even in 1970, the population of Frisco was under 2,000. Now, the population is approaching 200,000, and the area has become a sports mega.

Lamar Hunt built Toyota Stadium, which opened in in 2005. The latest addition is the National Soccer Hall of Fame, the inspiration of Lamar's sons Clark and Dan, the CEO and president of FC Dallas, respectively. It will host U.S. Soccer's annual induction ceremonies at the new facility for the first time on Saturday.

"It was just farmland, dead farmland," said Rote, the son of legendary football star Kyle Rote and the NASL's first American star with the Tornado in the early 1970s, during a tour organized for those participating in an NASL reunion. 'There was massive amounts of acreage that were used to grow cotton. It just didn't exist at all. It surprises me what the Hunt family has done here. We have one element of every sports team here in Frisco. People around the country are asking, Frisco? California? Frisco has every element of our sports agenda there. I used to go up there and spit in the dirt."

Frisco has pro teams in baseball (Double-A  Frisco RoughRiders), basketball (G-League Texas Legends) and indoor football (Texas Revolution). The NHL Stars practice at Dr Pepper StarCenter Frisco, and Major League Lacrosse moved the Rochester Rattlers to Frisco in 2018.

The Dallas Cowboys play at Jerry's World -- AT&T Stadium -- in Arlington, but their corporate headquarters are in Frisco -- a 91-acre premier sports complex with 12,000-seat indoor field. Cost: $1.5 billion.

As Frisco grew, youth sports -- soccer, in particular -- became a big part of the culture. Bobby Moffat, another Tornado player from the early days, developed a very successful camp business in the Dallas area. When he came to Frisco the first time, he had 18 campers. Within three years, he had 200.

"It's grown exponentially here," Moffat said "It's great to see kids around Frisco kicking a soccer ball,. We have the people we coached coaching them now."

Soccer has been without a Hall of Fame since 2010 when the facility first opened in 1979 in Oneonta, New York, was closed for financial reasons. The Hall of Fame collection was stored in North Carolina, while the new Hall of Fame, located next to Toyota Stadium, will open to the public on Nov. 2 with an emphasis on modern technology, including virtual reality, gesture technology and interactive digital video boards.

The Hall of Fame was built as part of a $55 million renovation to Toyota Stadium, a public-private partnership among the Hunt Sports Group, U.S. Soccer, the City of Frisco and Frisco Independent School District.

Saturday's inductees will include MLS commissioner Don Garber, former U.S. national team players Tiffeny Milbrett, Brad Friedel and Cindy Parlow Cone, as well as former U.S. Soccer president Bob Contiguglia. Broadcaster JP Dellacamera is the 2018 recipient of the Colin Jose media award.
4 comments about "National Soccer Hall of Fame is latest addition to Frisco sports mecca".
  1. Jason Greif, October 20, 2018 at 12:36 p.m.

     The Hall of Fame had two incarnations in Oneonta. The older one was dark and quite small fairly close to SUNY-Oneonta. They built a new one that was fairly isolated. That said, it was much brighter than the old one and had some nice exhibit. I can see why it chad financial problems—when I visited, on a weekend, I was the only one there. 

  2. Ric Fonseca replied, October 20, 2018 at 1:15 p.m.

    Yes, Jason s correct recalling the first HoF. directors Al Colone and Will Lunn and BH.  I had the distinct pleasure and honor to meet these three CABALLEROS and also saw the facilities you describe.  In fact, Soccer America's original publisher Clay, and others conducted a short seminar at Onenonta that I shan't ever forget as my son Tito accompanied me.  The memory isn't just that he went with me, but because after the seminar we were "rewarded" with a trip to Cooperstown to visit the Baseball HoF.  So what, you ask, does this have to do with THE SHOF?  Well pilgrims it wasn't just a visit,but a well planned visit to that venerable HoF, but to some behind the scenes visits, e.g. my son had the very unique experience of holding onf The Babe's baseball bats that was being prepped for shipment on loan to a new Baseball Hall of Fame (I believe) in Tokyo.
    I also had the distinct honor of overseeing and being/in charge of the 1994 WC USA collection of memorabilia and had it shipped to the first museum where it was kept until the new Hall opened.  Sadly, though, I was unable to coordinate a visit to the new HoF, yet I was saddened when I heard of the Hall's closing, yet somewhat glad when news of the newst one opening in Frisco, Tx. I hope to visit it in the very near future.
    And for everyone's information, the original HoF was established in the Oneonta/Cooperstown area as result of the other various sports Halls of Fame that dot the area.  Still, seeing "ours" and then being treated to Cooperstown, was indeed a privilege of course never to be forgotten. nor for my son who still holds that memory seered in his mind.  Lastly, Frisco, Tx is not too far on my list of things to do!

  3. frank schoon replied, October 21, 2018 at 10:41 a.m.

    Ric...Always enjoy reading about your "behind the scenes historical experiences"...Keep it up, great stuff...I find it so unique that we are both of age to have experienced really the initial historical beginnings of soccer in America. Similarly,in a way, it reminds me that even back in the 50's you could meet people who experienced and were part of the Old West history...

  4. Ric Fonseca, October 21, 2018 at 12:58 p.m.

    Frank S:  Muchas gracious gracias for your kind note.  Here's a tid bit: I am from Mexico City and was brought to the US at age 10, lived in East Oakland, and to this day I vividly remember playing what was then and is today also called, kickball.  The field at Frick Jr. High was something resembling a dessert, bare ground and believe me we kicked up some dust storms.  There was no kids programs then, and my venerable high school, Castlemont, allowed only Sunday "foreign" kickball matches, with the likes of Club Guadalajara, Club america, Greek Americans, etc. It is amazing how much progress we've made since those days, from youth leagues, to high school, community colleges, and of course universities and venerable coaches, Julie Menendez (San Jose St U,) Bob DiGrazia - UC Berkeley, Steve Negoesco - Univ San Francisco, etc.  Thanks again!!!  

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