ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Mexican national soccer team will call AT&T Stadium its second home, through at least 2022.
The Mexican Soccer Federation announced the four-year deal Wednesday, along with the Dallas Cowboys, FC Dallas and the Dallas Sports Commission.
Having already played seven previous games in Arlington, the deal will bring the team back on an annual basis as it prepares for World Cup play.
The run-up to the match each year will include a festival and concert in Dallas, as well as community clinics and practices, likely at FC Dallas facilities in Frisco or Dallas.
The first match, against a yet to be named opponent, is June 9, 2019. Tickets will go on sale December 11.
“Having this four year window, four year agreement, it allows us to think bigger, to work on long term initiatives, and those will be growing the game,” said FC Dallas COO Jimmy Smith. “That’s the focus of it.”
That growth and local interest for the sport, is expected to contribute to efforts to land major matches at AT&T for the World Cup in 2026.
Video clips at the announcement event touted the infrastructure already in place, with international players complementing the stadium, airport and hotels.
Cowboys Executive VP Jerry Jones Jr. said the stadium is flexible enough to handle major soccer events, with plans to bring in natural grass for the games.
Monica Paul, with the Dallas Sports Commission, said the recurring event should show that the area had a passionate soccer community eager to host more games as well.
“I think that shows that yes we have the infrastructure, we have the capacity and we have the passion to host international soccer here in North Texas,” she said.