Professional Soccer Team May Be Coming to Dallas

Cotton Bowl | Image by Cotton Bowl Stadium/Facebook
Cotton Bowl | Image by Cotton Bowl Stadium/Facebook

The Dallas City Council will vote Wednesday on whether a new professional women’s soccer team could make the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Fair Park its home beginning as early as this summer.

A resolution that the City Council will vote on would provide an event subsidy to Fair Park’s management firm, Oak View Group (OVG), up to $296,000 a year to make the Cotton Bowl usable for the professional sports team. This amount equates to approximately $18,500 per game.

This resolution stated that the “City Council has designated the Cotton Bowl and Fair Park as an economic development initiative and strategic priority for the southern sector.”

The resolution explained that a “professional sports team has expressed a desire to conduct their season league game play at the Cotton Bowl Stadium at Fair Park.”

Although the City has not confirmed what team would be moving into the stadium, the expectation is that a USL Super League team could occupy the stadium if the resolution is passed.

The USL Super League, an inaugural eight-team women’s professional soccer league, will kick off in August 2024. One of the teams listed on the website is based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

A memo obtained by WFAA states that the funding designated to OVG will be used for security, site preparation, and any other expenses that arise while hosting the team. The team is expected to play about 19 games in the stadium during its season.

Cotton Bowl Stadium previously hosted a professional soccer team when FC Dallas played in the stadium from 1996 until midway through their season in 2005, with soccer events being held in the stadium just twice since the team moved.

Much of the information about the potential USL Super League team remains unknown. Still, the franchise is expected to announce the club name, logo, and other details during an event at Klyde Warren Park on the morning of May 9, according to D Magazine.

Although Cotton Bowl Stadium is currently undergoing renovations that could make playing inside the stadium difficult, the team would be playing on the opposite side of the construction and should not be affected, according to the memo obtained by WFAA.

Mayor Eric Johnson has continually expressed his desire to bring more sports to the City. He previously called for the two-time defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, to move their team to Dallas.

The Chiefs previously resided in Dallas from 1960 to 1962, opting to move to Kansas City before the 1963 season.

Johnson’s call for the move came after a failed sales tax proposal to keep the team in Kansas City. The mayor noted that the team should move back because the “connections are so deep, the history is so rich,” reported The Dallas Express.

The desire for more sports within the City is not limited to Johnson, as the Dallas City Council voted unanimously to approve the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA’s) Dallas Wings moving from Arlington to Downtown Dallas, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Although the move is still pending approval from the WNBA’s Board of Governors, the team is expected to sign a 15-year lease starting in the 2026 season. The lease will allow the Dallas Wings to play home games in the Dallas Memorial Auditorium at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Center.

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