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Dallas Jackals Announce New Team President

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Dallas Jackals President Steve Violetta, left, with GM Santiago Sodini at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington. | Image by Dallas Jackals

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The Dallas Jackals continue to make offseason moves in the front office. The team recently announced that Steve Violetta has been hired as the team president. As reported by The Dallas Express, the Jackals also recently hired Santiago Sodini as general manager.

Violetta brings many years of experience to the fledgling Major League Rugby team that will begin its second season in 2023. He told The Dallas Express that whenever he considers leaving one job for a new one, he always considers the upside of making the move.


“One of the exciting things about the Jackals is they only have one year in,” Violetta said. “I’ve always liked the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I Iove the people, I love the attitude. A big part of it was the lifestyle of Texas, and especially North Texas. That was important for me.”

Violetta has served in similar capacities for a number of teams in a variety of sports throughout his career. He has worked with four National Hockey League teams, including two in Canada, and has also worked in Major League Baseball.

He was instrumental in the naming rights deal between Petco and the San Diego Padres. The deal was a 22-year sponsorship to name the new baseball stadium, now Petco Park.

Violetta said that his primary role will involve driving revenue. To accomplish that for the Jackals, Violetta said he wants to capitalize on the growing fan base and help bring rugby to football and soccer fans in the region by creating an entertaining experience on and off the field.

“I call it ‘Wheels on the property to Wheels off,'” Violetta said. “[Fans] are going to be able to tailgate this year, we will have portable beer vendors, and once you get into the stadium, we are going to have kids’ entertainment, family entertainment. Whether you are standing in line to get a hot dog or walking through the concourse to get to your seats, there is going to be something going on.”

Bringing the fans into the game is one of the challenges that the team will face after their inaugural season ended without a victory. The team regularly attracted crowds of 2,000 or more and even set an attendance record for the team’s first home game of 3,152.

Violetta did not want to put numbers on his expectations for the second year but believes the Dallas community will come out for the experience.

“At the end of the day, it is all about entertainment,” Violetta said. “What I want people to walk away with, win or lose, and I want them to say, ‘You know what? That was a great time. We had a great time, and we’ll come back again.'”

The decision to join a start-up rugby team in Dallas was all about location for Violetta. He said that part of the reason he decided to take the job is that he believes the area’s solid football and soccer audiences will enjoy the sport of rugby.

“I think that once fans see a rugby match, they’ll understand the game, the physicality of the game, and the commitment of the players,” Violetta said.

He said the team is looking at ways to kick off 2023 with a bang to continue to grow the sport and the fanbase in North Texas. Violetta added that he encourages any fan with questions about the team, the game, or tickets to reach out to him or the team.

The 2023 season will begin in early February but the season schedule will not be released until late this summer or fall.    

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