The National Soccer Hall of Fame, which is being rebuilt in Frisco, will open Oct. 20, 2018 with an induction ceremony, a Hall of Fame game and a mega concert.
Organizers made the announcement Tuesday at Toyota Stadium, adjacent to the Hall of Fame construction site.
"We talk about Sports City, USA here in Frisco. We're the only city in America that has now eight sports in our community most recently adding Lacrosse and eSports," said Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney.
The hall, which was originally located in Oneonta, New York from 1979 until 2010, is part of a $55 million renovation at Toyota Stadium and is being rebuilt in Frisco as part of a large-scale public-private partnership between FC Dallas, the City of Frisco, the Frisco Independent School District and U.S. Soccer Federation.
"The 2018 Hall of Fame weekend will kick off with the 2018 Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 20 where the newest members of the Hall of Fame will take their place among soccer’s elite. The 2018 Hall of Fame induction class will be announced in March 2018," officials said in a news release.
Soccer fans will get a sneak peek of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in July 2018 when the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Club opens. This club space offers a casual sports bar atmosphere on game days with a 1300 square-foot patio offering unobstructed views of the Toyota Stadium pitch. The game day locker rooms and state-of-the-art media room will also open in July 2018.
“October 20th can’t come soon enough,” said FC Dallas president Dan Hunt. “Not only will this be a technology-driven experience that honors the men and women who made U.S. soccer what it is today, the National Soccer Hall of Fame will also provide outstanding educational opportunities for students across Dallas/Fort Worth. The clubs and new seats are game-changers that will offer unparalleled views for all guests who visit Toyota Stadium for games, concerts or any other special event.”
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FC Dallas owners, Clark and Dan Hunt, launched a campaign in 2013 to bring the Hall of Fame to Frisco. Their father, Lamar Hunt, was inducted in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1999, he received the Hall’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. He remains one of only three individuals to have won the award.
During a news conference Tuesday, Clark Hunt said they are designing the facility to be a first-class home for the narratives and experiences of the history of the sport in the US. He said the goal is to make the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco a destination like Canton or Cooperstown where fans gather to celebrate the great players, coaches and administrators.
Clark's brother Dan said they knew their plans for the hall's opening weekend are "Texas-sized" and will feature the induction ceremony for the 2018 class, a marquee match-up featuring FC Dallas and another MLS opponent and a special ceremony honoring the North American Soccer League and Dallas Tornado players.
"This has been a gigantic dream ... now we have a home to honor all the great legends of US Soccer, that have come before us, the guys and gals playing right now, and the ones in the future, you guys have a home and it is truly Texas-sized," Dan Hunt said.
"I just want to thank the Hunt family and the FC Dallas team for continuing to invest in our community. Not just this great stadium that's here and the great concerts that they bring here, but the investments that they're making in our youth here throughout Frisco in the FC Dallas soccer program and all of the great things they're doing to help our community," said Cheney."Thank you for your continued investments in Frisco, Texas."