The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/2nUEj9D ) reports now Frisco is vying to be the champion in another area — sports innovation. And city officials say they’re already way ahead of the competition.
“We’re the No. 1 innovative sports city in the world,” crowed Mayor Maher Maso, who recently hosted a three-day meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Professional Sports Alliance.
In addition to the Cowboys, the Dallas Stars and FC Dallas also call Frisco home. Joining in the fun are the Frisco RoughRiders, a minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers, and the Texas Legends, a D-League team of the Dallas Mavericks.
Frisco is also home base for the nonprofit U.S. Youth Soccer, the largest member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, with more than 3 million players across the country.
And the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, based in Frisco and Plano, has produced more than 30 national team members. It was also the training base for Olympic all-around champions Carly Patterson in 2004 and Nastia Liukin in 2008, and 2016 Olympic team gold and uneven bars silver medalist Madison Kocian. Last year WOGA owner and co-founder Valeri Liukin, Nastia’s father, was named the new head of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.
“One of the great things about sharing Frisco with all of our colleagues here is that it makes all of us try harder,” said RoughRiders CEO Chuck Greenberg, who hit a big league home run last year by adding a lazy river just beyond the right field fence at the minor league ballpark.
Beyond the organizations are a multitude of facilities — from Fieldhouse USA to The PIT to city parks to the Toyota Soccer Center — that cater to youth and recreation leagues on a large scale.
Dallas Stars president Jim Lites said what’s available now in Frisco is no accident. There’s a business purpose behind everything the city does.
“They bring the best people,” Lites said. “They find a way to work with everybody.”
In 2011 Frisco was named by Men’s Journal as the Best Place to Raise an Athlete.
Now one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities wants to be known as the best place to take care of them. It has set its sights on becoming the America’s premier location for sports medicine and research.
The Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy and Research at The Star is under construction as part of a partnership with the Cowboys. The center will not only provide top-notch care for professional athletes but also make those same physicians, treatments and therapies available to the public.
Frisco ISD already benefits from Baylor Scott & White’s expertise in concussion assessment and treatment. The not-for-profit health care system stationed neuropsychologists on the sidelines at every varsity football game in the district this past season. That relationship is expected to expand in the future.
Baylor Scott & White will also be the first health center in Texas to partner with Fusionetics, an app-based program to help athletes reduce injuries, optimize performance and enhance recovery.
Farther up the Dallas North Tollway, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is building its north campus that will be anchored by a Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine. Among its specialties for children are orthopedic conditions as well as sports-related concussions. Its mission is to focus on the unique needs of growing athletes.
Another piece of the puzzle comes with Frisco-based Blue Star Sports. The year-old technology company creates digital efficiencies in youth sports, from registration to scheduling to performance.