There's nothing like walking onto a football field or into a performance arena to get your adrenaline flowing.
“There’s an emotional draw in a sports venue,” says Bishop Turon, sport marketing manager at Bryan College Station Sports and Events. “At Bryan College Station, your guests get a sense of what 100,000 fans get to see on game day.”
In addition to providing that game-day feeling, the following three venues, all newly opened or planned to open in 2019, offer an array of meeting spaces and amenities for planners and guests. From expansive indoor and outdoor venues to exclusive meeting spaces, groups large and small can tap into the energy and history of some of Texas’ most beloved teams and athletic events in state-ofthe-art surroundings.
Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, scheduled to open in November 2019, has been decades in the making. The 14,000-seat arena is the culmination of thoughtful planning to design a venue that will fit the iconic style of the nearby Will Rogers Memorial Center Campus.
“The arena fits Fort Worth, but also is a classic venue that will remain timeless for decades,” says Alissa Cunningham, director of marketing for Dickies Arena. “The attention to detail is just so well done … the art deco style is a nice bookend to a beautiful campus.”
Dickies Arena will be the new home for the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo starting in 2020, an event the Will Rogers Memorial Center has hosted since the 1940s. Dickies Arena, which is being built through a private-public partnership, will cost about $540 million.
In addition to the arena’s main event floor, groups will be able to use a 209,000-squarefoot outdoor exhibit plaza, Cunningham says. The plaza can be closed off for private and preshow events and can hold up to 3,000 people.
“The plaza has a beautiful view of downtown Fort Worth looking to the east,” Cunningham says. “It’s a cool view that not a lot of spaces can offer.”
From the plaza, guests will be able to look down into a 90,000-square-foot exhibit space, which is connected to the arena below. The windows at the plaza level, above the exhibit space, provide ample natural lighting. There are also two additional multipurpose rooms, each at 1,750 square feet, Cunningham says.
The arena is starting to book events for late 2019 and 2020. The arena has already confirmed it will begin hosting the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships in 2022. Dickies Arena will also host the first and second rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2022.
Hall of Champions, Bryan College Station
Kyle Field at Texas A&M University, with a seating capacity of more than 102,000 people, is considered one of the most intimidating venues in college sports. The fan base at Bryan College Station gets so loud at home football games that the fans are considered the team’s 12th man, says Bishop Turon, sports marketing manager for Bryan College Station Sports and Events.
Planners can immerse their guests in the Aggie spirit in the Hall of Champions inside Kyle Field. The hall provides 32,800 square feet of column-free space, with a maroon ceil - ing adorned with a gigantic Texas A&M logo. The Hall of Champions features video screens and ribbon boards, making it a versatile venue, Turon says. The hall has hosted events ranging from championship dinners and banquets to the launch of Tesla’s Hyperloop initiative.
Texas A&M University takes advantage of the flexible space for its use, too. The Hall of Champions is used regularly to showcase exhibits celebrating championship teams from Aggie history.
The hall has a 60-foot-tall ceiling, which provides flexibility for staging and draping, and the option to roll in a big stage or screen, Turon says. Kyle Field has a variety of rooms near the Hall of Champions, including two large clubs and smaller breakout rooms. “You can almost turn this entire stadium into a conference center,” Turon says.
The Star, a 91-acre development anchored by The Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and Training Facility, is a dream for Dallas Cowboys fans.
The Star includes the Ford Center, a 510,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility that offers three football fields (one indoor and two outdoor) used by both the Cowboys and the high school football teams of the Frisco Independent School District. The Ford Center seats 12,000 people and can be rented out for private events for up to 15,000 people.
Hosting private events at the space gives guests an insider’s look at the franchise. In addition to offering a VIP guided tour of The Star during their meetings, planners can also host meetings and events in the same spaces used by Dallas Cowboys players and coaches. These include the team auditorium and dining hall and The War Room, where the Cowboys complete all of their draft work each season. Another popular space is the Grand Atrium, which displays all five Super Bowl trophies and rings. The atrium provides 3,500 square feet of space with marble floors, a five-story glass wall and a view of artist Leo Villareal’s art installation Volume.
The Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research Center at The Star provides a unique opportunity for guests to directly gain insight on their own athletic performance. Groups will be able to host private events at the institute, according to Ryan Callison, director of marketing and communications at Visit Frisco.
The walkability of the Star has been a big hit with groups, Callison says. The Gatorade Sports Science Institute is located across the street from the 300-room Omni Frisco Hotel, and dining, shopping and entertainment are all located within walking distance. With the Omni connected to the Ford Center, guests don’t even need to walk outside for their events.
“We had a group where it rained the whole time they were there,” Callison says. “They were able to get between the headquarters and the hotel without ever stepping outside.”