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Official Review by Michael Davis, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Toyota Stadium is a 20,500 seat multi-purpose stadium located in Frisco, Texas. Frisco is ranked in the top 10 of growing cities in America, about 28 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as well as downtown Dallas. The stadium has been the home for FC Dallas, a Major League Soccer team, since August 6, 2005. The stadium, along with the Toyota Soccer Center, is a 145-acre sports and entertainment facility which includes 17 tournament sized soccer fields off of Main Street and the Dallas North Tollway.
Major League Soccer awarded Dallas a franchise in 1996. The team was initially named the Dallas Burn and played their games at the historic Cotton Bowl in the Fair Park district of Dallas. The club changed its moniker when they moved into Toyota Stadium in 2005.
Toyota Stadium was host to the 2005-2006 MLS Cup. The FCS Championship Game has been played at Toyota Stadium since 2010.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The surrounding area of Toyota Stadium provides plenty of opportunity to eat and drink before entering the stadium. However, the food and beverage selections inside the stadium will do plenty, if you are short of time.
The food selection ranges for the normal fare of hot dogs, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, and fries ($4) to a BBQ plate served with mac & cheese and cole slaw. However, I recommend the taco plate for $10 with your choice of chicken, pork, or a combination. The stadium has food specialties of a jalapeno cheddar corn dog, Fletcher's corn dogs, Frito pie ($7), chili cheese tots ($6), and ultimate nachos served with taco meat, cheese, jalapenos, pico de gallo and sour cream. CiCi's pizza is also available ($7).
Besides the food selection, Toyota Stadium serves a wide variety of beverages from bottled water ($4) to liquor/mixed drinks ($10). Dr. Pepper and RC products are your soda choices. You can buy a soda for $5 or go with the better value of a souvenir cup for $6 with a refill cost of $2. Gatorade and Snapple drinks are offered as well for $3.
There is an abundance of choices when it comes to adult beverages. The beer selection of $8 drafts or $7 bottles, range from Budweiser or Miller products to special beers, such as Goose Island, Red Hook IPA, Fire Rock Pale Ale, Shock Top, and Stella Artois. If beer isn't for your taste buds then maybe a Strawberry Daiquiri ($4), Margaritas, Yellow Tail merlot ($7), or the Jack Daniels cocktail, and other mixed drinks for $10.
Toyota Stadium has a club restaurant on the west side of the stadium for those people lucky enough to have access to the River Club with air condition and televisions.
The parking gates open about 2 ˝ hours before the match, and at that time you see tailgating tents being set up on the east side of the stadium. The kids dress up in their FC Dallas gear kicking soccer balls while FC Dallas flags are flying around the parking lots.
The game day atmosphere is electric, even for fans who are new to soccer. The fans, along with the event staff, are approachable and friendly. There is a drumline marching through the stadium to start the festivities, along with a ceremony of putting an FC Dallas scarf around the Lamar Hunt statue in the north side plaza.
Once the match begins, the nearly 20,000 fans are engaged with the match. There are drums pounding, the "Dallas Til I Die" scarfs being sported by children, flags waving, plenty of singing, yelling, and fireworks as FC Dallas provides an incredibly entertaining atmosphere.
The surroundings of Toyota Stadium provide plenty of things for you to keep active before a game. The stadium is located on Main Street in Frisco and provides a variety of shops and restaurants. On the south side of the stadium, across the street is Frisco Square, a prototype of a European city which provides office space, retail, municipal facilities, and restaurants.
One of the restaurants in Frisco Square is Mattito's Tex-Mex restaurant. You can literally sit outside on their patio and watch the south gate greet people. Although, this is a great perk, it seems they charge tourist prices as I had the chicken and beef combo which cost about $15. So, be prepared to spend about $30 if you choose to include alcoholic drinks with your meal.
If Texas-style food is not what you are looking for, try the restaurant next door, which is the NOLA Grill serving exactly what the name implies, Cajun food from New Orleans, Louisiana. There is also Pizzeria Testa for an Italian flavor, or Jake's serving burgers.
The FC Dallas faithful are simply the definition of the word "fan." FC Dallas fanatics don't hold back when it is game time. They are energetic, passionate, and loud which truly makes attending an FC Dallas game a worthwhile experience. The fans in the field seats in the Budweiser Garden area (north end zone) are the most impressive. If you sit there, you'll feel like you are watching a soccer match across the pond.
The Beer Garden fans, also known as the Dallas Beer Guardians, literally stand, jump, chant, and sing for the entire match. Besides the wonderful DBG fans, there is the Dallas Football Elite. The Dallas Football Elite (aka DFE) sit in section 103, where they provide loyal support to FC Dallas. However, besides these two fanatic groups of FC Dallas followers, no matter where you are located inside the stadium, the fans will all be into the match on the pitch.
The drive to Toyota Stadium is easy, as the stadium is located just off the North Dallas Tollway. The parking around the stadium is free with four entrances into the ground. The entrances are labeled by the direction, instead of the normal numbers or letters. The West gate entrance is where the River Club is located, while the South entrance is on Main Street across from Frisco Square. The North entrance is where the pro shop, Toyota Soccer Center, FC Dallas offices and players' entrance is located for the stadium. The ticket offices are located on the North and South entrances.
The stadium has wide concourses, plenty of bathrooms, and handicapped access. Although the City of Frisco is a far suburb of Dallas, the FC Dallas organization does a nice job of connecting fans from Dallas with the FCD Express program. This program allows you to purchase tickets including transportation for $32, or a standalone roundtrip transportation for a fee of $10.
The FC Dallas Organization, along with Toyota Stadium, provides a truly remarkable entertainment product. The free parking, the reasonable price of food and drinks for a sporting venue, the atmosphere that is provided by the fans throughout the day, and the price of seeing such a high caliber of soccer talent all makes for an excellent return on your sporting dollar.
Ticket pricing starts at $25, but there are plenty of ticket promotions during the season such as the flex plans that can bring tickets down to about $15 a match. If you are a soccer fan or just in the area, an FC Dallas match is definitely a great way to spend your entertainment dollar.
The pregame ceremony of wrapping the FC Dallas scarf around founder, Lamar Hunt statue is worth an extra point.
The FC Dallas logo uses the number 96 to remember the year the original franchise, Dallas Burn became part of the league.
The Toyota Soccer Center/Walk of Fame/Murals of FC Dallas Past on the outside of the stadium is a nice touch and worth a stroll while you're here.
Member Review by dccstowe
Pizza Hut Park is home of FC Dallas, a Major League Soccer team that was formerly called the Dallas Burn until they changed their name back in 2005. The stadium was opened on August 6, 2005 and was one of the first professional soccer stadiums built exclusively for soccer in the United States. "The Oven" (referring to the blazing hot Texas temperatures during afternoon matches, and also that the field is below ground level) also plays host to major international soccer matches as well as mid-size concerts.
The stadium is located about 15 miles north of the heart of Dallas in a suburb called Frisco. Frisco was a prime location for the stadium when the plans for the stadium were brewing because it was such a fast-growing suburb. Frisco's population of 107,050 made the suburb a great location because of its growth and opportunities to acquire land.
In a country where football (American) and baseball are king, the sport of soccer is becoming more and more popular in the United States. The U.S. soccer federation decided it must begin making more soccer-specific stadiums in order to gain more recognition from the likes of European and Asian countries. Some say that soccer (called football everywhere else) in the United States will never become as prestigious as that of their European counterparts until more of these stadiums are built. The city of Frisco and Major League Soccer want to change that and that is why Pizza Hut Park was built.
Member Review by jacorbett70 on Oct 01, 2014
One of the better MLS facilities and crowds. Easy to drive there despite the distance from the city and the parking is indeed free. Traffic was not bad although I expect that to change in the future since business construction is all over the place without plans for mass transit in Frisco. FCD also offers bus trips to selected games from some Dallas neighborhoods for a reasonable cost ($10pp).
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