March 6, 2007
DALLAS (SMU) - In keeping with its goal of bringing top-level collegiate athletic events to the DFW Metroplex, the SMU Athletic Department has been selected to host the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's College Cup, the selection committee announced today. In partnership with FC Dallas, this event will be held at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Dec. 12 & 14, 2008.
"After hosting two previous College Cups, we are very excited about bringing another National Championship event to the Dallas area," said SMU Director of Athletics Steve Orsini. "As the only Division I athletic program in Dallas, we feel a responsibility to our fans and all the residents of the Metroplex to host events such as these. SMU already offers tremendous collegiate athletic events and this will only add to what we already provide on the Hilltop."
In a little over a decade, Dallas has hosted several national and international soccer events including the 1994 World Cup, the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the 2005 and 2006 MLS Cups, the 2001 Women's College Cup, the 2002 Men's College Cup and numerous international friendlies and exhibitions. Dallas is also home to SMU men's soccer, one of the nation's most all-time successful programs. The only NCAA Division I men's soccer program in the state of Texas, SMU has made 13 consecutive NCAA appearances. The Mustangs have won nine regular-season conference titles and six conference tournament titles in the last 10 years.
"Pizza Hut Park has quickly become a home for big-time soccer events and we're excited to partner with SMU on the bid to host another one - the NCAA College Cup," said Pizza Hut Park General Manager Michael Hitchcock. "We look forward to the opportunity to show the NCAA, their sponsors, VIPs and thousands of college sports fans that Pizza Hut Park is the perfect venue to host the NCAA National Soccer Championship. We'd love for Frisco and Pizza Hut Park to become the permanent home of the College Cup, in similar fashion to Omaha and the College World Series."
Recognized as one of the top soccer facilities in the nation, Pizza Hut Park features a 21,193-seat, state-of-art soccer stadium and 17 championship-quality soccer fields located just north of the stadium. The stadium also offers 2,000 luxury and premium seats, a spacious club area, excellent locker room facilities and state-of-art video and scoreboards.
Previous hosts of the NCAA Men's College Cup since 2000 include Charlotte, N.C., (2000); Columbus, Ohio (2001 & 2003); Dallas (2002); and Carson, Calif., (2004), Cary, N.C. (2005) and St. Louis (2006).