FRISCO, Texas---It seems only fitting that a statue of Lamar Hunt was unveiled at Pizza Hut Park on what could easily be called the biggest match ever staged at the home of FC Dallas.
A statue of one of the founding investors of Major League Soccer was unveiled about 15 minutes before FCD’s kick off against Inter Milan on Thursday, located on the concourse of the Frisco soccer-specific stadium. Before his death in November 2006, Hunt had been a driving force for FCD getting their own stadium, a facility which opened in August 2005.
Members of the Hunt family, including his wife Norma, sons Daniel and Clark and his daughter, Sharron Hunt Munson, were on hand for the unveiling. Prior to a brief statement from Clark Hunt, the Chairman of Hunt Sports Group (HSG), fans in attendance and the family watched a video detailing the contributions Lamar made to soccer in the United States.
“This is a very special day for FC Dallas, Pizza Hut Park, our family and most importantly, for our fans,” Clark Hunt said. “Today we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Pizza Hut Park by honoring the legacy of my father, Lamar Hunt. This statue is a permanent symbol of his vision for Major League Soccer, his passion for FC Dallas and his devotion to fans of the beautiful game.”
Among those in attendance for the ceremony were new FCD President and CEO Douglas Quinn, Technical Director Barry Gorman, Head Coach Schellas Hyndman and Frisco Mayor Maher Maso.
Daniel Hunt, who serves as the vice president of HSG, said he too was impressed by the statue which paid a fitting tribute to his late father.
“It’s a wonderful thing. He was so instrumental in building this stadium,” Daniel Hunt said. “I come here and think of him every time I see it. He’s looking away from the field, but he’s here for the guys. This is a special day for us, FC Dallas and for our fans.”
Among those who once played for him that were in attendance was Ken Cooper Sr., the father of ex-FCD forward Kenny Cooper, who now plays in Germany. Cooper Sr. played for Hunt with the Dallas Tornado in the NASL.
“It’s a very special day. He’s a very special man and he did so much for so many people,” Cooper said. “What you see here is the result of his vision. I think it’s only fitting to have his statue here because this is the home that he built. Lamar was for the people. He lived his life for the people. He had a vision for soccer and put a ton of money into it.”
Thursday’s unveiling was the second statue honoring Hunt to be unveiled in the last week. On July 30, a similar statue at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, home to the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, was unveiled at the plaza surrounding the stadium.