Frisco sports teams waiting to see when, whether seasons will resume

(Courtesy FC Dallas)
(Courtesy FC Dallas)

(Courtesy FC Dallas)

Image description
Major League Soccer announced April 17 that it was extending the postponement of its season until at least June 8. (Courtesy FC Dallas)
Image description
The Frisco RoughRiders led all 30 Double-A teams in Minor League Baseball in attendance last season. (Courtesy Visit Frisco)
Image description
Frisco RoughRiders President and General Manager Andy Milovich said he expects the team’s season will start in conjunction with whenever Major League Baseball begins play. (Courtesy Frisco RoughRiders)
Instead of crowds cheering on their favorite players and the excitement of opening day, Toyota Stadium and Dr Pepper Ballpark sat empty throughout April as part of efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The Frisco RoughRiders had a total attendance last year of 455,765 fans. That marked the 15th straight season Frisco led all 30 Double-A teams in Minor League Baseball in attendance.

RoughRiders President and General Manager Andy Milovich said he was unsure whether the team would see any attendance this year because of the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic.

“I hope that we'll be able to play,” Milovich said. “We're preparing as though we will, and I think, along with the other 350 million people in the country, and across the world, we're anxiously optimistic that we’ll get ahead of this [pandemic].”

FC Dallas played two home games before the Major League Soccer season was postponed. The team won its season opener in front of 16,216 spectators on Feb. 29 and played to a 2-2 draw before 15,865 fans on March 7.


Gina Miller, vice president of media and communications for FC Dallas, said the club hopes to be able to play its remaining 15 home matches at Toyota Stadium this season. However, where, when and whether the club plays its remaining matches is up in the air, she said.

“I can't necessarily rule out anything or can't necessarily say this is something we're considering,” she said. “Because I think everything is something that we are considering.”

FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez said playing in empty stadiums would not be his preference, but the players would do so with pride if it comes to that.

“If that's what we have to do to take steps to earn being together in a real fan environment with full stadiums, that's what we're going to do,” Gonzalez said. “Although it's not ideal, it still [would be] better than the situation we are in right now where we're not even able to train together.”

When businesses and attractions do fully reopen, Frisco Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tony Felker said he expects the local tourism industry to see a slow and gradual build to get back to where it was before the coronavirus. Because of that, Felker said he believes people will feel more comfortable going to some of the city’s smaller attractions before attending major sporting events.

“Part of what’s wonderful about sports is you lose yourself in the passion of the moment,” Felker said. “Something happens, and you high-five somebody next to you—a complete stranger. You’re screaming and shouting out. Those are the things that from a behavioral perspective, innately we cannot be doing for awhile.”

Milovich said he expects the RoughRiders’ season will start in conjunction with whatever Major League Baseball does. As RoughRiders players are under contract with the team’s parent club, the Texas Rangers, Frisco’s roster is not set until right before opening day for the big league club. Since that date came and went with baseball still postponed, the RoughRiders held a “stay-at-home opener” April 16 with a simulated game streamed online. The festivities also included a virtual seventh inning stretch and video of postgame fireworks.

Once things do open back up, Milovich said he expects there will be a strong desire to “return to normal” and socialize, but he agrees that there could also be trepidation.

“Realistically, you have to anticipate that there's going to be a lot of people that are concerned out of the gates, and there's going to be some restrictions based on how quickly you return to normal and what normal is for the time being,” Milovich said. “I think over time, we'll get back to normal, but in the short term it’s going to be a work in progress for everybody.”
By William C. Wadsack
William C. Wadsack is the senior reporter for the Plano and Richardson editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana before joining Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.


MOST RECENT

digital rendering of virus
Collin County Judge Chris Hill rescinds COVID-19 disaster declaration

Collin County’s declaration of local disaster in response to COVID-19 was rescinded Feb. 26 by Judge Chris Hill.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

Justice permanently closed its Frisco location inside Stonebriar Centre in December. (File photo)
Justice clothing store permanently closes Stonebriar Centre location

Justice, a clothing and accessories store that offered merchandise for young girls and tweens, permanently closed its location at 2601 Preston Road, Ste. 1240, Frisco, in December.

IHOP is expected to open early this summer at the intersection of FM 423 and US 380. (Courtesy IHOP)
IHOP coming to northwest Frisco this summer

IHOP will open a new location early this summer at 1375 US 380, Frisco.

The North Texas Municipal Water District has lifted its request for its member cities to reduce water use. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Collin County water supplier lifts water conservation request

With water demands returning to normal levels, the North Texas Municipal Water District has lifted its request to reduce nonessential water use within its service area, which includes the cities of Frisco, McKinney, Plano and Richardson.

The coffee and wine bar offers signature drinks, such as the Honey Bear Latte, made with honey and cinnamon, as well as food options, such as breakfast tacos, charcuterie boards, baked goods and snack boxes. (Courtesy Golden Boy Coffee Co.)
Golden Boy Coffee Co. opens in Plano; Black Rock Coffee Bar coming to Southlake and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

House Sprucing Design & Decor will open in west Frisco in mid-March. (Courtesy House Sprucing Design & Decor)
House Sprucing Design & Decor coming to Frisco

House Sprucing Design & Decor, a North Texas-based interior design company, is set to open in Frisco.

uBreakiFix opened its 600th U.S. location on Preston Road in Frisco in November. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
uBreakiFix new Frisco location now open

uBreakiFix opened its 600th U.S. location in Frisco at 3333 Preston Road, Ste. 106, in mid-November.

Didi's Downtown at 7210 Main St. opened in 2018. Owner and chef Scott Hoffner says the unassuming, family-friendly space aims to impress everyone who walks through the door. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)
Didi’s Downtown chef dishes out diverse cuisine at Frisco's Rail District

“I really like to try to mix and meld a lot of flavors.”

Dishes of food aligned inside a food truck
Frisco Planning & Zoning Commission approves updated food truck provisions

Provisions to city codes that would allow continuous and temporary food truck courts on non-residential property got their first approval.