CrossFit Games

Yeehaw! Castro, CrossFit Visit Dallas as Potential Games Location

December 1, 2021 by
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As the Rogue Invitational was wrapping up in Austin, Texas, representatives from CrossFit, including Dave Castro, were planning a visit about 200 miles North, to Dallas. Their intent? Evaluate the city as a potential host for the 2023 CrossFit Games and beyond. 

One big thing: With a population of more than 7 million, the Dallas-Forth Worth metropolitan area is the largest host city we know of courting the CrossFit Games. A key question will be: After years of enjoying the small-town takeover feel Madison has provided, are the CrossFit Games ready to return to a major metropolitan area? 

  • CrossFit has been very hush hush about future CrossFit Games sites, but Morning Chalk Up has been able to suss out that Austin, Denver, Madison (the current host city) and now Dallas have all filled out the RFP. 

Inside the visit: Contract negotiations for potential host cities were supposed to begin on November 15, but representatives from CrossFit were touring Dallas that afternoon.

  • “We explored the entire place out at Fair Park with the representatives from CrossFit,” Monica Paul, the Executive Director of the Dallas Sports Commission said.
  • The city filled out an RFP earlier this year but has inquired about becoming a host city for the Games for the last two years.
  • The Sports Commision sent a representative to Madison this summer to observe the CrossFit Games to help build their proposal when selling HQ on Dallas.
  • “They couldn’t give us much feedback since there are still multiple cities they’re taking a look at for this next round of RFP’s but I hope they saw the connectivity and how they can adapt certain things at the iconic Cotton Bowl venue,” explained Paul.

By the numbers: To put things into perspective, Dallas’ proposed venue — Fair Park — versus the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, would be a 68.9% increase in acreage.

  • The Alliant Energy Center: 164 acres.
  • Alliant Energy Center Coliseum: seats 10,231.
  • Dallas Fair Park: 277 acres.
  • Dallas Fair Park Coliseum: seats 8,513.
  • Dallas Fair Park Cotton Bowl Stadium: seats 92,100.

Although the Fair Park Coliseum holds fewer spectators, Cotton Bowl Stadium has the biggest potential for selling seats as one of the largest stadiums in the country. The stadium alone would be a more than 800% increase in potential spectators when you compare Madison’s Coliseum to Dallas’ Cotton Bowl Stadium. 

Important to note: In CrossFit’s RFP guidelines, the venue must include two primary venues that can both seat at least 15,000 people. While the Cotton Bowl Stadium blows that standard out of the water, the Coliseum falls short, however, so does the current center in Madison, WI. 

Photo Credit: Fair Park (www.fairpark.org)

Going deeper: Aside from having two major indoor and outdoor facilities for competition, the site also has significant opportunities for spectator experience and entertainment. Some of the venues include the Dallas children’s aquarium, a music hall and a creative arts building.

  • “Our central location and the fact that we’re a major city with easy access for those who are driving or flying is key. We’re proposing Fair Park Campus which I think lends itself to being adaptable and even be reimagined for some things and allow CrossFit to add additional things with the indoor and outdoor components,” Paul continued.
  • Fair Park has hosted several major events including the annual State Fair, 4th of July Celebrations, the NHL Winter Classic and was even home to the Dallas Cowboys in the 60’s.
  • “We’ve had numerous inquiries throughout the years, not just over the past two years that we’ve been looking at this opportunity, CrossFit has always come up as something that people within our community approach us about that we really need to try to secure this for Dallas. There’s no doubt that we’re excited,” concluded Paul.

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