El Tri To Play At AT&T Stadium Once A Year Through '22 Under New Deal
AT&T Stadium will "become El Tri's official home" in the U.S. for the "next four years," as the Mexican men's national football team will play each year at the Arlington, Texas, venue "as part of its annual U.S. tour," according to Silvana Pagliuca of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The deal lasts through '22, when the next FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar. The first date will be a "preparation match" for CONCACAF's 2019 Gold Cup on June 9, against a team "yet to be named." Major League Soccer side FC Dallas COO & CFO Jimmy Smith said that his club's facilities "will serve as training grounds for the Mexican team." The agreement between Mexico and AT&T Stadium also "includes a Fan Fest, which should take place in the days proceeding El Tri's games in North Texas." Mexican Football Federation (FMF) Secretary General Gilberto Hernández said that "even though there are other U.S. cities where El Tri frequently plays because of their large Mexican community" -- like Chicago and L.A. -- Dallas was "chosen for its showing of unified efforts." El Tri so far has had seven games at AT&T Stadium, "averaging 82,000 fans per game" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/29). BLOOMBERG NEWS' Eben Novy-Williams reported the agreement, brokered by MLS-owned Soccer United Marketing, "aims to build an annual Super Bowl of sorts" for Mexican football fans in North Texas. The NFL Dallas Cowboys will "promote the Mexican team" during their games. Additionally, El Tri will "participate in year-round community initiatives targeting the local Hispanic population," both on the football field and in classrooms. When El Tri is playing elsewhere, FC Dallas will "host watch parties aimed at maintaining the city as a hub for Mexico fans" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/28).