Dec. 16, 2017
By Brock McKee
FRISCO, Texas -- As the Louisiana Tech football team heads west to its team hotel on Saturday in preparation for the DXL Frisco Bowl on December 20, the University brand will be prominent in Frisco, Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area over the next three months.
LA Tech fans living in and around Northeast Texas will have plenty of chances to see Tech teams in person over the next four months and won't have to travel far as Frisco will be the athletic department's home away from home.
Four LA Tech athletic teams will compete in three separate venues located in Frisco starting with the Bulldogs Dec. 20 match-up against SMU in the DXL Frisco Bowl and ending with both the Bulldog and Lady Techster basketball teams competing in the Conference USA Tournament at the Ford Center March 7-10.
Oh, and let's not forget about Lane Burroughs and the Bulldog baseball team facing Texas A&M, Cal and Baylor on three consecutive days March 2-4 as part of the Frisco Baseball Classic at Dr. Pepper Ballpark.
With 4,834 Tech alumni currently residing in the 13-county Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, fan support is projected to be strong. In fact, the pace of ticket sales for this year's DXL Frisco Bowl has surpassed the Bulldogs last three bowl games. A sellout of the Tech allotment of tickets (and most likely the entire stadium) is expected.
This year marks the fourth straight bowl appearance for the Bulldogs. The previous three have all entered the record book as W's, which puts Tech alongside some elite company throughout the college football landscape.
Tech joins Clemson, Georgia, Stanford, Utah, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and Conference USA East-Division foe, WKU, as the only programs who currently own a three-game bowl winning streak.
With this year's bowl venue located in one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, there will be an abundance of opportunities for the University to market itself in one of its more popular alumni hotspots.
Frisco has emerged as one of the premier cities in the country, as economic growth paired with increasing job opportunities has risen the city to 6.2 percent population growth from 2015-16 alone. It was also named the fastest growing city in the United States for business, according to an in-depth study of 2017's Fastest-Growing Cities in America.
Louisiana Tech is no stranger to growth, as a record 12,873 students enrolled for the 2017 Fall Quarter. Also, for the seventh consecutive year, Tech was listed as one of the highest tier "National Universities" according to the September release of U.S. News and World Report's 2018 Best Colleges List. Tech was one of only two public institutions in Louisiana to achieve the ranking.
Last summer, one of the most successful and well-recognized franchises across all sports, packed up its previous home facility at Valley Ranch, and made the move north, opening a sprawling new $1.5 billion headquarters and training facility in Frisco. Frisco is the Dallas Cowboys new home and a mecca for football, entertainment, and commerce.
The Ford Center at the Star hosts Frisco high school football games and is shared by the Cowboys, the City of Frisco and Frisco ISD. The school district also has dedicated locker rooms, training room, press area and coaches' offices. The 510,000-square foot indoor facility houses numerous Frisco ISD events such as football games, soccer games, marching band competitions and graduation commencements.
This past May, Conference USA officials announced plans to host the 2018 Men's and Women's Basketball Championships at the Ford Center. The setup for the tournament will be unique, as the indoor practice field for the Cowboys will hold two separate courts, which will allow men's and women's games to be played at the same time.
With the top-12 teams for both men's and women's squads eligible for the tournament, chances are high for fans to see both the Dunkin' Dogs and the Lady Techsters in March.
Both teams are off to strong starts in non-conference play in 2017. The Lady Techsters currently sit at 6-4, highlighted by a signature win over Penn State on Nov. 24. The win was the first over a Power 5 program since 2012-13. The men are also off to a solid start, and own a 7-3 record on the year, including an early-season tournament crown at the Cancun Challenge.
Capping off the trifecta of Tech events in the Lone Star State, the Louisiana Tech baseball team will venture to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex to take part in the Frisco College Baseball Classic on March 2-4.
With quality Power 5 competition in Baylor, Cal and Texas A&M, Tech will have a perfect opportunity to make an early-season statement at Dr. Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco Roughriders.
The Diamond Dogs, led by second-year head coach Lane Burroughs, finished last year with 36 wins, marking the first back-to-back 35-plus win seasons in more than 25 years for the program. Tech also owns a 45-12 home record over the past two seasons and will look for that same advantage in one of its most populous alumni locales.
Frisco will serve as a second home for Tech teams from now until mid-March. And it will provide the University a platform for its brand to grow in one of the fastest growing areas of the country.
Tickets to all three events can be purchased by calling the LA Tech Ticket Office at 318-257-3631 or emailing TechTickets@latech.edu. Fans can also log onto LATechSports.com/Tickets.