Published January 16, 2012
FC Dallas is one of five MLS teams currently without a jersey sponsor
FC Dallas has signed a 15-year deal with Legends Hospitality Management to operate concessions and premium dining at FC Dallas Stadium. The concessions company, co-owned by the Cowboys, takes over today at the seven-year-old facility, where Centerplate and Sodexo previously managed food service. The food deal is the second piece of business between crosstown neighbors Legends and FC Dallas. In September, Legends Sales and Marketing, part of Legends Hospitality, signed a deal to help the team sell naming rights to its 20,500-seat facility and secure a jersey sponsor. FC Dallas Stadium, formerly Pizza Hut Park, is the focal point of a soccer complex with 17 fields spanning 145 acres in Frisco, Texas, 30 miles north of Dallas. Legends' deals with the MLS club are part of a five-year strategy under team President & CEO Doug Quinn to turn the club around after "underperforming" on the business end during the past few seasons. On the food side, Legends will be able to seamlessly shift its staff of 70 full-timers from Cowboys Stadium to FC Dallas Stadium during the NFL offseason, Quinn said. "From March to August, their biggest focus will be on what we do," he said. "We front-load most of our games in the spring to avoid the heat in summer. A lot of [Legends employees] already live in Frisco and commute to Arlington." Legends plans to bring some of its signature food brands to FC Dallas Stadium, including Bent Buckle BBQ, said Legends VP/Operations at Cowboys Stadium Michael Bekolay. The food deal includes a significant capital investment, Quinn said, but he refused to say how much Legends is spending on furniture, fixtures and equipment.
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: On the marketing side, Legends VP/Strategic Partnerships John Alper is in charge of reselling the stadium's naming rights and finding a jersey sponsor. Alper sold Pizza Hut Park's original naming-rights deal in '05 while he was with Hunt Sports Group, FC Dallas' owner/operator. Alper will work those deals in tandem with FC Dallas VP/Business Development & Partnership Marketing Matt McInnis -- a former Cowboys exec -- Quinn and team Owner Clark Hunt. FC Dallas has not had a jersey sponsor, one of five MLS teams without one. For both naming rights and the jersey sponsor, FC Dallas and Legends are asking for deals in the range of $2M annually, on par with other MLS teams, Alper said.