Dallas-Fort Worth tops 50 U.S. metro areas for title of Top Sports City
Each year, Dallas hosts around 70 to 85 sporting events, translating to roughly $650 million in economic windfall last year, said Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission.
This was largely the reason for Dallas being named by Sports Business Journal as the Top Sports City in the U.S. — the first award of its kind the sports trade website has handed out. About 50 cities were considered for the honor.
“I’m extremely excited about it, but humbled at the same time. It’s something we talk about on a regular basis across the region in terms of… we are the No. 1 sports destination, but to have someone else recognize you… it’s a very special day for us,” Paul told the Star-Telegram.
The sports website uses an algorithm that graded the cities according to three main criteria: size of the market’s sports footprint, business conditions in the area and opinions from 100 sports executives.
Derrick Moss, senior marketing analyst for the sports trade website, said it was not surprising to see New York and Los Angeles top the list for market size. What was somewhat of a surprise was where Dallas landed.
“In looking at the diversity of Dallas’s sports properties, there’s really not a whole lot that’s missing,” Moss told the Star-Telegram. ”I mean, Dallas has kind of everything.”
In the rankings, New York came in second. Charlotte, Minneapolis and Atlanta rounded out the top five.
Moss clarified that their algorithm considers a city as part of a Metropolitan Statistical area, which means it looked at data from the DallasFort Worth area as one entity.
“So, when you think about Dallas
Fort Worth facilities as kind of the tip of the spear, they graded out really highly in all three of the categories,” Moss said.
Dallas-Fort Worth as a major player in sporting events
Beating out the likes of New York and Los Angeles, Paul sees the honor as a fortuitous marketing opportunity.
“We’re hoping (that this) means that whether it’s some of our clients that are looking for locations to bring their major events, or even youth, grassroots collegiate events, anything from a sports standpoint, that they automatically think of the Dallas-Fort Worth region,” she said. “And kind of a step above that, there are corporations that are looking to relocate.”
She hopes the designation as a top sports region will mean corporate leaders will see the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a major player.
“That Dallas is top of mind, or at least in the conversation” when talking about where to hold events or even where to relocate offices, Paul said.
Just last year PGA of America opened its new $33.5-million headquarters in Frisco. At the end of March, the NCAA Women’s Final Four tournament will tip off at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The Dallas-Fort Worth sports market includes several professional teams: Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League, Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association, Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball, Dallas Wings of the Women’s National Basketball Association, Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League, FC Dallas of Major League Soccer and Dallas Jackals of Major League Rugby. North of Fort Worth, just across the Denton County line, sits Texas Motor Speedway. Factor in all the golf courses, arenas and sports facilities, and Paul said it is a sprawling sports network.
Add to that long list the fact that area cities have hosted a total of 15 rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament through the years — including Fort Worth (3), Dallas (10) and Arlington (2).
Exactly what the Dallas sports market is worth is “a pretty big number,” Paul said.
So, what makes Dallas-Fort Worth a special sports region?
“Oh my gosh, how much time do we have?” Paul said, chuckling. “We have some of the best world-class facilities here.”