Thursday, April 27, 2006

Big test for FC Dallas

FC Dallas faces a big test this weekend, but I'm not talking about their game against the top team in the league DC United.

The big test for FCD will take place back home at Pizza Hut Park when the facility will debut as a concert venue. The Latino pop group RBD will play on Saturday and by Sunday the big question will be answered, how much damage does a concert do to the pitch at the park?

The team's owner, Hunt Sports Group, is counting on hosting concerts to make the facility profitable, however soccer will come first. If this event tears up the pitch like concerts at the Home Depot Center (HDC) do, then they have a problem. However, FCD as an advantage at their park, their stage is permanent.

Since most of the damage at the HDC is the result of trucks hauling the stage in and out, the Park is a step up. They will also use an interlocking 'floor' to cover the field.

If this works out for the team, they will have found a possibly huge revenue stream that might lead the team to financial black ink. This may also help other MLS teams get venues built around the league because they will have a proven example of what can be done.

Like FCD or not, if you are a fan of soccer in America, then you should hope this concert (and the May 10th show with George Strait) is a success with limited damage to the pitch. The more money soccer has coming in, the more money they have to spend on promotion, development and other out-reach activities.

Who would have ever guessed that such much of America's soccer future could ride on a concert by RBD?

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