News came out this week that FC Dallas is still looking at starting a USL team next season (shoutout to Buzz for getting the quote from Oscar). There are still a lot of details that are unknown about the new team. Is the team going to be D2 or D3, is it strictly a U23 squad, are we starting a new USL franchise or piggybacking off of another one? The main question I am more concerned with however is, where will the team be located.
Here me out on this. What if FC Dallas put their USL team in South Dallas or more specifically, in Bishop Arts (thanks to Jeff Loftin for spawning this idea)? Logistics aside, it would be the perfect spot for a USL team. You would be able to attract a fan base that is more central in the metroplex, as opposed to the northern part, as well as you could even get some pull from Fort Worth fans as it’s A LOT closer to Bishop Arts than it is to Frisco.
Aside from finally having a team in Dallas, you would have one that can become part of a community. Bishop Arts has been booming for the last ten years or so and is one of the bigger melting pots in Dallas. You have white, Hispanic, African American, lower middle class, upper middle class, hipsters, young professionals and older folks all in one area. Bishops really has become a huge self sustaining community where everyone pulls together and stays in their area supporting the local businesses there. Adding a soccer team to that dynamic would be a win/win for everyone involved.
We would finally have a stadium set up in the middle of an area with cool local bars and restaurants. You would be able to make an evening of the games. Instead of everyone bolting out of the stadium as soon as the final whistle blows, you would now have places to go wind down at. While enjoying yourself postgame at the local establishments, you would also be investing back into the local community helping to grow one of the cooler spots in Dallas.
Picture this, the match starts at 7pm. You get over to Bishop Arts around 4 and have a choice of Glorias, Enos or Lockharts (to name a few) for dinner. Once you’ve finished stuffing your face you head over to Tin Bells or 303 for a couple of drinks before making your way to the stadium for the game. Once the match is over, you stop by Emporium Pies for desert or Hunky’s to grab a milkshake and have the chance to scroll through Twitter to see everyone’s thoughts on the game. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect way to spend an evening then I don’t know what to tell you.
I will mention that I do live in Lake Highlands and the thought of something being, somewhat, in my neck of the woods is a huge factor for a lot of this, but having a local club inside the city limits would be incredible. It would be something that we Dallasites could be proud of and could show off to friends locally or from out of town.
This city lacks any sort of sporting event nightlife and this could possibly fill the void, even if it’s on a small level. I’ve longed for the bars and restaurants nestled around my favorite sporting venues that weren’t some corporate entity looking at raising prices because I’m here to kill time before a game. The thought of meeting up with friends and grabbing a drink or a cigar at local establishment and then walking over to a match is the kind of stuff that dreams are made of. Hopefully FC Dallas looks at something similar to this as the new USL team picture comes more into focus.
I understand there are a lot of hoops (see what I did there) to jump through to make something like this happen that go way past FC Dallas the club, but a man can still dream, no? Even if Bishops Arts wouldn’t work, Deep Ellum or Trinity Groves would both be awesome spots as well. As a proper Dallasite, I just want to be able to drive under fifteen minutes to a match and this seems like that perfect situation to make it happen.