IRVING, Texas – It'd be understandable to forget, given the myriad of pressing storylines facing the Cowboys at the start of 2016. But the conclusion of this season has a fairly momentous meaning for the franchise heading into the future.
The Dallas Cowboys just concluded their final regular season at their famous Valley Ranch headquarters, and this year they'll be moving into The Star – their new, state-of-the-art practice facility and headquarters in Frisco, Texas.
The opening of the new facility, slated for summer 2016, will mean something unprecedented in the world of professional sports. The Cowboys will share their new headquarters with the city of Frisco and the eight high schools that make up the Frisco Independent School District.
That calls for a never-before-seen partnership between professional and high school athletics in North Texas. One of the premier features of the new facility will be the 12,000-seat Ford Center at The Star, which will house all football operations for the Dallas Cowboys – but will also host football games and other activities for Frisco ISD member schools. Frisco students will share the same space as the Dallas Cowboys, as The Ford Center will feature locker rooms, training rooms and coaches offices for Frisco high schools, in addition to all the amenities provided for the Cowboys. In addition, the facility will boast three practice fields – one indoor, within The Ford Center, as well as two outdoor fields.
It'd be an understatement to limit the new development to just The Ford Center at The Star, though. The entire site comprises 91 acres – 33 of which are currently under development. The Star will also house the Dallas Cowboys' corporate headquarters, not to mention commercial office space comprising eight levels and 396,000 square feet.
That's one of just several developments, including a luxury hotel and a 200,000 square foot medical center. Expected to be completed in 2017, The Omni at The Star will become the tallest building in Frisco at 16 stories with 300 rooms – capable of accommodating up to 400 guests.
Baylor Scott & White at The Star will provide a home for sports medicine at the facility. The initial phase of the project will include an ambulatory surgery center, a diagnostic imaging center, physical therapy, a preventive care program for athletes and several other health care offerings, and it is scheduled to be operational by the fall of 2016.
Cowboys fans and visitors will also be able to incorporate an element of fitness into any visit to The Star, as the site will feature Cowboys Fit at The Star. Cowboys Fit will incorporate Cowboys-themed workouts and state-of-the-art fitness equipment allowing fans to train with their favorite players. It will also feature an outdoor swimming pool and a 2,000 square foot Nike store.
Those are just some of the offerings slated for The Star, but it won't be limited to just indoor amenities. The 40,500 square foot Tostitos Championship Plaza will be located at the heart of The Star and will feature a 2,270 square foot video board in addition to interactive displays and other video boards and a 50-yard football field for community activities. The Dr Pepper Walk of Honor at The Star will also lead up to the Ford Center at The Star, and it will highlight key players in Cowboys history as well key volunteers in the community.
The organization celebrated the halfway point of construction this past summer, and that timetable is still on track. While some elements of the site – such as the medical center and hotel – will be opening at later dates, the Cowboys are expected to make the move in August.