At the end of the year, our staff told you what our Christmas lists were for the club, and some of those items dealt with things beyond the players and the team itself and focused more on the club as a whole. Here are a few pressing issues I believe the club is facing.
A New and Improved TV Deal
In the 2014 season, and in seasons past, FC Dallas had a television deal with Time Warner Cable, broadcasting 24 games on the Time Warner SportsChannel. Coupled with that, local station TXA 21 aired six games and various other networks aired the remaining four (UniMas, NBCSN and ESPN).
In 2015, especially with the club's growth and market size, the team really should look to lock in an affiliate that has a little bit larger reach. In my household, we have DirectTV so I'm not able to see 24 of the teams 34 games on television. The same would go for Verizon and U-Verse customers. I was forced to buy MLS Live, and while that is a great value, I'd like to be able to watch my own team at home — on my home tv. [note: the club did offer free MLS LIVE passes to season ticket holders last year.]
The team should look to find a provider that has channels on several providers, instead of just one. Obviously this doesn't happen overnight, but i think it's something that money should be put towards. Now that the league's back with Fox for the national TV broadcasts, maybe FCD could return home to Fox Sports Southwest.
A New and Improved Sound System
My FC Dallas season tickets are located on the East side of the stadium and for me, that only brings one disadvantage — no speakers. The stadium's only sound comes from a set of speakers on top of the press box and if there's ever any bit of wind, the sound is always pushed around. Beyond that, pregame music, goal celebration music and announcements just don't come in loud enough and I really think the stadium's sound system should be expanded and upgraded.
I haven't heard anything so far about this change being in the works, but I do think it should be one of the FO's higher priorities for 2015, especially considering the attendance growth in recent years and wanting to build the best soccer experience possible.
We all are aware how much fun games are when spent in the 90-plus degree heat coupled with glaring sunlight. I don't know why the stadium didn't come with shading on it's three main sides of stands when it was built, knowing how much heat would play a factor, but it is sorely needed.
Not even considering the fact that shaded stands are an iconic look in soccer stadiums all around, it would greatly add to the stadium's apparent size and intimidation factor. Having some shading would greatly decrease the heat in the stadium, make the stadium louder as well as making the stadium appear bigger from both inside and out.
I think Dan Hunt has mentioned adding this in the past, but I don't know the extent of those talks. This obviously is the most costly and time-consuming change of the three, but I also think it might be the most important.
So, those are my thoughts on club upgrades. Let me know what you think and what you'd like to see change!