(From venuestoday.com, September 10, 2013) The home stadium of FC Dallas, a Major League Soccer team, finally has a name. The FC Dallas players and supporters will now call home Toyota Stadium. Toyota and Hunt Sports Group, owners of FC Dallas, have come to an agreement on the naming rights after being in talks since as early as November according to David Hunt, Vice President of Hunts Sports Group.
FC Dallas and Hunt Sports Group had been seeking a new name for their stadium after their agreement with Pizza Hut expired in January of 2012. David Hunt knew the importance of the “Made in Texas” label and was looking for a Texas company sponsor. FC Dallas was aware that Toyota manufactures the Toyota Tundra in Texas because their current sponsor, Pat Lobb Auto Group, is a Toyota affiliate. Pat Lobb Auto Group arranged a meeting with the Toyota corporate to talk about potential naming rights.
Brent Hillyer, Vice President of Marketing for Gulf States Toyota, saw the growth in MLS soccer in the United States and the large volume of use as primary reasons to enter into the naming rights agreement. The stadium is not only a soccer field, but it also has a built in stage for concerts. The stadium is scheduled for use an astounding 350 days of the year and brings 1.8 million people inside each year. Hiller says, “For us to have our brand in front of a potential 20,000 people for 350 days a year was very appealing.”
The money and the length of the contract have not been disclosed. However, Hunt has all the intention of putting that money back into the stadium and potentially bringing in recognizable players. Specifically with the stadium, Hunt would “like to add some shaded structure, improve the club spaces and add more suites.”
On October 19, the Seattle Sounders will visit Toyota Stadium. The new Toyota Stadium signage, which was paid for by the team, will be unveiled to the FC Dallas supporters. The game will be nationally televised on NBC.