Visitors Drop $1.3 Billion on Collin County's Sports Mecca

Frisco has turned its love of entertainment and sports into a billion-dollar economy.

Tourists and visitors to Frisco spent $1.3 billion in 2008, much of it generated by sporting-related events.

"If you brought in quality facilities and priced them right, the families would be attracted to them," city manager George Purefoy said.

The city is home to a AA baseball team and a Major League Soccer team and hosts a National Hockey League team's training facility.

"It's kind of like putting restaurants together," Purefoy said. "(It) seems like they do better together than just one out by itself."

Hotels, restaurants and shopping venues all get a piece of the pie because each sport feeds youth camps and tournaments.

"You've got people coming from nationwide across the country just to get here to enjoy a sporting event," said Denise Stokes, a Frisco Convention and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman.

City leaders said they were looking for affordable family entertainment when they attracted a minor league baseball team to the area in 1996.

"We just thought that minor league baseball would be a top attraction here," Purefoy said.

The success of the Frisco Roughriders, the Texas Rangers' AA team, led the Dallas Stars to locate their executive offices and training facility in the Collin County city. FC Dallas then followed with its own stadium.

The city also boasts professional indoor football, boxing, mixed martial arts and world-class gymnastics facilities. And Frisco will soon be the home of an NBA D-League team.

The range of games and other events such as concerts at sports venues allows Frisco to be marketed differently to potential conventions, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Convention-goers can turn business trips into family vacations, because the city offers things for children to do while their parents work.

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