Congratulations Frisco! You’re the little town that could!
Established on the Shawnee Trail, now called Preston Street (Hwy 289), Frisco has occupied a unique place in the history and growth of North Texas, witnessing the passage of wagon trains bringing immigrants south to Texas and cattle drives from Austin going to northern markets. Originally a community of farmers north of the thriving town of Lebanon, Frisco City was formed in 1902, when the St. Louis – San Francisco Rail Line decided to set tracks through the rich agricultural land, where water was plentiful. The town name was later shortened, and Frisco was incorporated in 1908.
Since its creation, Frisco was a retail and shipping point, beginning with a number of cotton gins and grain elevators, and was the home of a Farmers Co-operative Gin Association. By 1914 the town had grown to a population of 1,000 people and grew slowly through the 20th century. In 1960, the population reached 1,184, and increased to 3,499 by 1980 as a result of the growth of Dallas, Plano and Fort Worth. By 2000 there were 33,714 people, and since the turn of the century the number of people living in the city of Frisco has more than doubled to over 100,000. This phenomenal growth is expected to continue and the population of Frisco as of July 2018 to over 160,000.
“We eliminated any place that had more than double the national crime risk, less than 85 percent of its state’s median household income, or a lack of ethnic diversity. This gave us 583 places,” Money said.
“We put the greatest weight on economic health, public school performance, and local amenities. Housing, cost of living, and diversity were also critical components,” it said.
Money also lauded Frisco for it public-private partnerships — particularly the Ford Center at The Star. That athletic facility, built as part of a partnership with schools, the city, and the Dallas Cowboys, doubles as a place for school football games and a practice field for the NFL team.
The Star in Frisco is a $359-million, multi-use development located on 91 acres nearly 30 miles north of Dallas.
At the heart of the complex is the new Dallas Cowboys’ World Headquarters, The Ford Center, which spans 25 acres and includes a 1.7-million-sq-ft, state-of-the-art facility with a six-story office building; a 12,000-seat, indoor multipurpose events center and sports training facility; and two outdoor practice fields that provide facilities for the Dallas Cowboys, the city of Frisco and Frisco Independent School District.
The complex also includes the 300-room Omni Frisco Hotel and the Frisco Multi Event facility, along with an entertainment district of restaurants and shops, plus a medical center. The Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research at The Star will open in 2018.
A unique partnership among the Dallas Cowboys, the city of Frisco and Frisco ISD resulted in a public-private partnership for the mixed-use development. Not only is The Ford Center the only NFL training facility in the U.S. that is shared with the athletics program at a public high school, it’s also the most comprehensive NFL training facility in the U.S. It also houses the first indoor high school stadium in Texas.
“Watching the public, especially the high school kids, walking into the stadium on opening day and seeing all the joy and happiness as they realized they are about to play or watch [a game] in the only enclosed, conditioned high school stadium in the world—that was truly a great achievement to walk away with,” Sperling says.