March 2018 Supporters Summit Recap
Here is are minutes for the March 2018 Supporters Summit between the leadership of all three supporters groups at FC Dallas and members of the FC Dallas front office.
If you would like to raise a concern for next month's meeting, on Tuesday, April 3, please use this form.
LSL asked for an update on FC Dallas chartering a bus to Houston. We were told that we would need to figure out the details and then go to them with the information.
All groups asked about the tags for approved items for Supporter Groups such as flags, drums, drum stick bags, etc. They should be in by March 18th and will be distributed at that time.
The following concerns were all submitted to the Dallas Beer Guardians:
General Stadium Concerns:
1. Please upgrade the visual aesthetic quality of the stadium to match the new HoF. Also, the blue walls around the field look worn. Can we not add a graphic banner around similar to what you place on it for the FCS Championship game? With the quality of new stadiums going up, we need to keep pace.
The Front Office appreciates your suggestions and will take them into consideration. They are currently focusing on finishing the National Soccer Hall of Fame and will address other areas once it is completed.
2. Struggled to find Michelob all night, even the cantina didn’t carry it. I know it’s silly to ask for special accommodations but it would be nice if the guys selling beer carried a little variety. Seemed like they were trying to push Bud Light pretty hard.
Because Budweiser is a sponsor of the Beer Garden seating area for the Front Office, it will have majority Budweiser based offerings. It is understood that Anheuser-Busch owns the umbrella of them all, however we were told that you should be able to find Michelob where other domestic beers are sold.
3. There was a long line to enter the south blue parking lot (parking pass needed lot). I know it was the first week and there were tech problems but can you explore opening two staffed “in lanes” and moving the check point further in toward the stadium so more cars can get off the road? We arrived early but spent 15 minutes in line waiting to get in to the parking lot.
This issue has already been addressed. It was noted that the person checking the passes was having 5 minute conversations with the cars and you should not face these time issues again.
4. Please move the stadium to the city of Dallas so that we can become relevant again and not have as much empty seats during the season. we’re FC DALLAS.
Unfortunately, this is currently not an option due to the lease signed for Toyota Stadium and the addition of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
5. We do need more advertising in the Fort Worth/Arlington area to expand popularity of the club. The marketing department is looking at ways to expand it’s events, especially in the Grassroots Division, that expand out of North Texas and Collin County. They said to keep an eye out for events in all areas. 6. More room in beer garden. Almost all games are sold out in that area.
The capacity for the Beer Garden right now is set at 900. The Front Office will continue to keep an eye on the numbers in the Garden to see if expansion is an option.
7. I was asked politely to sit down by a family with a small child during the CCL game. FCD should let people know this section is rowdy, meaning we cheer, sing song, drink cheap beer and stand! My point is the section stands almost the whole game. Besides rehashing the whole all ages thing. People who come down and are new don’t understand what this section is all about. I took a step left and they enjoyed the last part of the second half but it was strange people come down and don’t realize. New fans can enjoy the games but know what you’re getting into join in or sit somewhere else.
The Front Office appreciates your patience in the first few games. It was explained that CCL was a little different because it was a GA ticket for the entire stadium rather than a Beer Garden ticket. The Front Office has assured us that there is verbiage when purchasing a ticket there and in the Garden that explains that it is a supporters section.
8. While I understand the beer garden is general admission, how is it ticketed? Is it by standing room only space? Or by the estimated number of bleacher seats i.e. if I were sitting, does my ticket get me the bleacher seat and space for my feet? What is the maximum capacity for the beer garden?
The FO said that because it is a GA section, they cannot and will not enforce this. The beer garden has a capacity of 900 and they will not oversell it. Once in, due to the GA nature, people can choose where they are. The FO said the only way to ensure that you have the bleacher seat and the space for your feet is to buy a ticket in the bowl area or to find a less crowded area of the BG.
9. Does the ticketing in the beer garden include the stairwells in the bleachers? People were standing in and occupying the stairwells in the bleachers during the entire game, with the exception of halftime. This is also dangerous. It prevents the ability to leave the area in a safe manner. Is there policy on this or should this be directed to the City of Frisco? I have already inquired about Fire Code because there is no policy on Toyota Stadiums website to address this Patrons in the beer garden should not be allowed to stay in the stairwells - they need to be directed by security to move out of the stairwell and locate a seat Aisles should stay cleared.
The FO stated that usually the ushers will clear them out. If you find that it's becoming an issue, they have asked if you will just talk to one of the ushers to clear the stairs and they will clear them.
10. The new bag policy is not uniform across the stadium. I witnessed several bags being allowed in that shouldn’t. Not all bags are being checked for size. In addition, cinch bags are no longer allowed, but the Toyota Stadium employees that are positioned down in the beer garden have them. Are they exempt from the new bag policy? I believe they should be subject to then new policy.
The FO stated that this issue has been solved. The staff will no longer be wearing cinch bags. As for the other bags around the stadium, they stated it was the first game that it has been implemented and it will take a few games to work everything out. However, they did say they bought 500 clear bags and passed them out to people who needed them prior to opening day and the next game's giveaway will be clear bags. As it pertains to all bags, there will be some individuals allowed to bring in pre-approved bags. Many of these will have tags on them, but some will not. Depending on their job with media or whatever it may be, their bags will be held to a different standard.
Parking Lot/Tailgate Area Concerns:
1. There are cars speeding through the little road between the new tailgate spot and the parking lot, any way we can get rumble strips or some signage put out for them to slow down?
2. Concern about traffic adjacent to tailgate. Specifically the cross access drive in red lot north of tailgate area. They need to close the southern most gates on east & west sides before someone gets hit.
3. With a majority of fans parking on the west side now (free parking), can there PLEASE be officers out directing traffic and pedestrians before and after the game? I know this is likely an added cost to the team, but it would help with the flow of traffic AND safety of those trying to cross the street. Thanks!
4. Parking, in particular exiting parking lots. Need people, police directing traffic and to open ALL exits, not keep them chained closed.
5. Parking, in particular exiting parking lots. Need people, police directing traffic and to open ALL exits, not keep them chained closed. 6. The tailgate area, specifically the “street” that runs through it and the removal of the cones by Gina. Those cones had an obvious impact by getting drivers who traveled that small stretch to slow down. Once they were removed, drivers flew through that street. We even observed a Toyota Stadium employee flying through there at a high rate of speed. (He was wearing the Toyota Stadium grey shirt that employees wear). This is DANGEROUS! Someone is going to get hit. We need to be proactive and find a solution on what can be done. Inconsistencies in What Was Told About Parking Lot: People are/were whipping down this side street like they’re on Main, El Dorado or DNT. One guy last night in Mustang lit up his tires in a burn out because he was pissed off that he had to slow down to under 10 MPH. After seeing a handful of people almost get clipped by people driving last night, a “Slow the f--k down” sign was put up. This morning we were informed by Debbie, Vickie & one other FCD employee (older gentleman in a red shirt, grey hair) that we could keep the cones up in the roadway, with signage absent of any swear words. We complied with this request, and were even supplied with additional cones after we voiced our concerns from last night. Even when Vickie was out here this morning, motioning people to slow down, many people ignored her or threw their hands up in exasperation. So after being provided with additional cones this morning, we put up signs that complied with the no cursing request. “SLOW....drunks at play.” No cursing. Full compliance with the request put forth this morning. And you know what? The signs and the cones WORKED. People were slowing down. Then suddenly this afternoon Gina McFarlin came through riding in the passenger seat of a red compact car, first removing the sign and cone on the west side of the road, before removing the one just off of World Cup Way. IMMEDIATELY after Gina removed these cones, people again starting speeding down this street. A FCD security (white shirt) employee in a grey Toyota Corolla whipped through here first one way, then the other. So we put the cones back up.
This isn’t something we just pulled out of thin-air. We are trying to be PROACTIVE regarding safety....instead of REACTIVE. After someone has been clipped by a car, it’s too late to start thinking about slowing down traffic. Who wins 9999 times out of 10000 in a motor vehicle vs pedestrian collision? The fragile meat-popsicle pedestrian or the people encased in tons of steel, fiberglass, etc? Attached is a picture of one of the FOUR extra cones brought out this morning.
What I heard Saturday morning directly from Vicky and Debbie was that we were allowed to put cones in the road that told people to slow down as long as we didn’t put any expletives on the sign. Virnig told me to email my recollection of what happened to you, sounds like 2018 is starting off with a bang, it’s good to be back
At approximately 9:30 am on Saturday March 2, 2018, we met Vicki the security guard in the Red lot (at that time). She told us that FCD had taken down our signs with profanity on them but she appreciated us trying to slow down traffic. About 15 minutes later Debbie came by (in charge of the parking lots as told by her to myself Jonathan Virnig, and Aaron Lockyear) and two FCD employees( security guys) and had a discussion with us. We asked if we could get more cones to slow down traffic in the area. She said no problem. We asked if we could get some slow down signs due to the fact that there would be plenty of people crossing a busy road. She said that they would look into it, so we suggested we make our own for now with no profanity. She said sure and that she appreciated us trying to control our own area as they didn’t have the amount of people to help. About 15 minutes later the two security guys came back with 4 little cones and 2 taller barricades. They put the two taller barricades in the middle of the road on each end of our crossing area and the little ones on the sides of the road at each of those big ones. This slowed traffic tremendously for the next few hours. Then sometime later Gina ( head of security) came by and removed the signs and cones and big barricades saying we didn’t have permission to do so.
As it pertains to the speed of cars in the tailgate area, the Front Office said the following:
It is a driveway that is shared with the businesses in the area. Because of a previous incident between Toyota Stadium and the business as it pertained to items impeding traffic, the Front Office cannot place cones in any portion of the drive way. They understand the legalities if someone gets hit by traffic, and are looking into solutions that will work for them and the surrounding businesses that does not impede traffic. Dallas Beer Guardians Leadership will continue to be in contact with the Front Office on possible solutions.