FRISCO, Texas - It's been 15 years? Already?
Yep, 15 years ago today, Toyota Stadium (then called Pizza Hut Park) officially opened with FC Dallas playing to a 2-2 draw with the NY/NJ MetroStars – more about that later. Back then, the 20,500-seat venue stood alone in Frisco's largely undeveloped downtown area and was just the third soccer-specific stadium in the United States. In the decade and a half since, the city has grown up around the stadium and dozens of soccer venues have been (or are being) built around the country. In terms of American soccer history, 15 years is a long time.
Sentimentality aside, let's take a look at some of Toyota Stadium's top moments since it opened on Aug. 6, 2005.
10. FC Dallas vs. Inter Milan International Friendly – Aug. 5, 2010
Almost exactly 10 years ago, Toyota Stadium welcomed its most high profile visitors ever. Less than three months after its Champions League Final victory over Bayern Munich, Inter Milan travelled to Frisco to face FC Dallas in an international friendly. Toyota Stadium's near-sellout crowd was treated to a 2-2 draw with goals from Dallas' David Ferreira and George John and Inter's Diego Milito, Samuel Eto'o. The match also featured other international stars in Esteban Cambiasso and Maicon, as well as a teenaged Phillipe Coutinho.
9. Ed Sheeran Summer Tour - Sept. 5, 2015
I know we just talked about soccer-specific stadiums and all, but Toyota Stadium was also built to moonlight as a concert venue. The highlight of its side gig has to be when Grammy-nominated Platinum recording artist Ed Sheeran visited as part of his international X Tour, along with Christina Perri and Jamie Lawson.
8. 2017 Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl - Dec. 20, 2017
In 2017, Frisco and Toyota Stadium got its own Bowl Game. The stadium has hosted the FCS National Championship football games since 2010, but getting your own Bowl Game is a little more special. In the first edition of the Frisco Bowl played in December of 2017, Louisiana Tech defeated SMU 51-10 in front of 14,419 fans and kicked off a new era in Frisco's sporting history.
7. 2019 USL League One Final – Oct. 19, 2019
The latest event to make the countdown is the 2019 USL League One Final from last October. The showpiece final saw FCD's USL affiliate North Texas SC takedown the Greenville Triumph 1-0 to win the inaugural USL League One title in front of the home fans. Considering much of the North Texas team grew up playing on the fields at Toyota Soccer Center, winning the championship in the stadium across the street meant just that much more.
6. 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship – Feb. 10-15, 2016
Toyota Stadium played host to six group stage games during the 2016 Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament, including three USWNT matches. The U.S. won all three of its games, the highlight being a 1-0 victory over Mexico thanks to a Carli Lloyd goal in front of 15,032 spectators.
5. 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup: USA vs. Honduras – July 7, 2015
In 2015 the USMNT came to Toyota Stadium for its Gold Cup group stage game vs. Honduras. A crowd of 22,357 watched Texas native Clint Dempsey score a brace to lift the Americans over Honduras to secure three crucial points to open their Gold Cup campaign.
4. 2018 National Soccer Hall of Fame Weekend – Oct. 20-21, 2018
This was a big year for Toyota Stadium. After a three-year, $55 million redevelopment, the stadium's south end was now home to the National Soccer Hall of Fame which opened on Oct. 20, 2018. The celebratory weekend was headlined by the Imagine Dragons who performed in the stadium following the 2018 HoF Induction Ceremony which saw Brad Friedel, Cindy Parlow Cone, Tiffeny Milbrett, Don Garber and Dr. Robert "Bob" Contiguglia join the Hall's ranks.
3. FC Dallas' First Game at Toyota Stadium (Pizza Hut Park) – Aug. 6, 2005
It marked a new era for the club when FC Dallas hosted an opponent at Toyota Stadium for the very first time. FCD welcomed the MetroStars on Aug. 6, 2005 and played to a 2-2 draw which included a sensational brace from Dallas' Carlos Ruiz to make the new stadium feel like home.
2. 2005 MLS Cup Final – Nov. 13, 2005
Just over three months after FC Dallas christened its new home, the newly-minted Toyota Stadium was given the honor of hosting the 2005 MLS Cup between the LA Galaxy and New England Revolution. Although American legends like Landon Donovan, Cobi Jones, Clint Dempsey and Taylor Twellman were all on show, it was Galaxy loan player Guillermo Ramírez who stole the headlines after he scored a stunning first-time volley to decide the game in extra time.
1. 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final – Sept. 13, 2016
Lifting the 2016 Open Cup is potentially the greatest moment in FC Dallas history and it happened right in front of the Toyota Stadium faithful. But it wasn't just any old trophy. It was the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the same man who saved the Dallas Burn (along with much of MLS) and went on to build Toyota Stadium itself. Clearly, this has to be the stadium's top moment in its 15-year history. More on that 2016 Open Cup victory HERE.
“The Open Cup is also named after Lamar Hunt, so it made it even more special to us as an FC Dallas family. Ultimately, the reason you play is to win trophies. To be able to win that one was just perfect.” - Ryan Hollingshead