It’s a home run, touchdown and slam dunk for North Texas.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has just been named the number one sports business city in the nation.
It comes just as Dallas prepares to once again host the NCAA Women’s Final Four and Arlington compete for the most important World Championship matches.
“I don’t think it could get any better than this,” said Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Athletic Commission.
A special mention went to the Sports Business Journal, which featured Dallas for the first time on the cover of its new issue this week. The title of the article reads: “Dallas is definitely a star.”
The top leaders of the leading teams that call this region home gathered on the same stage at the American Airlines Center on Monday to talk about how important this is for DFW.
“We’ve had all the great big events, from the Winter Classics to the Super Bowl and the World Cup, to the Final Four, and I think that’s a testament to what this region means to the world of sports business right now,” said Brad Alberts, President and CEO of the Dallas Stars.
This is the first study of the prestigious publication. The study used interviews with over 100 experienced business executives, analyzed data from 50 different cities over the course of seven months, and brought together about half a million data points from nearly 400 markets to come to a conclusion. Dallas took first place ahead of New York, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Los Angeles.
“The whole time I’ve been here in Dallas, I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to watch and see all the wonderful growth of not only the corporate structure, but the community base as well,” said Rolando Blackman, Dallas Mavericks chief executive and former longtime Mavericks player. . the player himself as a four-time NBA All-Star.
SBJ focused on each city’s business opportunities, the local economy, and information about each city from executives interviewed. Dallas was the only city in the top five to finish first in all three categories.
“I really preached that Dallas was the number one sports business city for a very long time. It’s great to see this data coming out,” Paul said.
If you’ve read the headlines over the past few years, the new title shouldn’t surprise you.
Officials say lower taxes in Texas and other business incentives have led to population growth across the state, which in turn provides more opportunities for large headquarters and big events.
In addition to being home to strong teams and celebrities in professional and collegiate sports, DFW has achieved big wins in other sports in just the past few years.
In 2022, professional tennis returned to Dallas when the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) moved the New York Open to Dallas.
In 2019, the PGA chose Frisco as the location to relocate their new headquarters from Florida. The professional bull riders also moved their biggest event from Las Vegas to Fort Worth last year.
Professional rugby is the newest kid on the Dallas block. Formed last year, the team hopes Dallas will be a potential host of the 2031 Rugby World Cup.
“Trying to emulate the success that everyone has had here on stage is tantamount to us as an organization,” said Rodd Newhouse of the Dallas Jackals.
Esports has even taken off in North Texas.
And perhaps one of the biggest and most talked about wins in recent memory, Dallas was one of the 16 host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This achievement was made possible through the combined efforts of the Dallas Athletic Commission and several organizations.
Sports officials not only want to use this distinction to regularly attract more events to North Texas, but hope it will help them build a good reputation with FIFA officials as several cities wait to be chosen to host the final.
“I think it positions us and gives us a lot of room to move forward. And I hope that FIFA will listen. Because we still have some hope that we will have a final or a semi-final,” she said.
This is the next big wish on the list of the Dallas Athletic Commission and Dallas Football Club, who have partnered with organizations such as the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium, and several stadiums across the region to serve as training and playing grounds for the World Cup.
“This is truly the world’s greatest sport. Recently, FIFA announced that they are going to increase this tournament from 80 games, which was supposed to be the largest tournament in the history of the World Cup, to 104,” Hunt said. “You should think about it. More than 7 million tickets will be available for the World Cup. This will be more than double what it was at the previous tournament.”
FIFA officials regularly visit North Texas, including a recent visit last week to inspect facilities such as AT&T Stadium as it plans to make small improvements to the field to comply with FIFA guidelines.
“This is part of the recognition that we can host a gigantic international event right here in the metroplex and do it with minimal extra effort. This is what is so unique about this North American application, especially in the United States. The facilities have already been built,” Hunt explained. “I think it was a big problem for FIFA with sustainability when you look at the previous World Cups and the huge costs. This shouldn’t happen. We’re ready to go right now.”
FIFA plans to make several more visits before making a final decision later this year. Fair Park in Dallas is also considered the international headquarters for the world’s media coverage of events, and we learned that a decision on this should be made in the summer.
With this new name comes new hope and energy for expanding economic opportunities.
“It just confirms where Dallas is on the playing field,” Hunt said.
The next big event will be the WNBA Final Four on March 31 in Dallas at the American Airlines Center, for which the Dallas Athletic Commission is looking for volunteers to help.
The Texas Rangers will then host the 2024 MLB All-Star Game at Globe Life Field next year.