An Experience Like No Other
By Fred Mays ~
The moment you walk through the doors of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, you know something is special, here.
This isn’t just a collection of rooms, filled with old jerseys. This is a high-tech experience that starts with a facial recognition scan and a touch screen survey of your soccer interests. This sets the stage for your own one-of-a-kind personal tour.
The Hall of Fame opened at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, in November 2018. It has since wowed visitors with virtual reality experiences, many of whom were kids visiting with parents and grandparents.
Djorn Buchholz is the Executive Director, and has been from the beginning. He says the visitors are about 50% from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and the other half from across the United States and foreign countries.
The technology is what sets this Hall of Fame apart from any other sports museum. A previous Soccer Hall of Fame in New York state closed about 10 years ago, so the sport was homeless for eight years before opening in Frisco. Frisco was selected because of its booming sports town profile.
“At the end of the day,” says Bucholz, “no two people will have the same experience.”
The virtual reality allows people to “get inside the mind” of the players and hear their personal stories.
More than 300 American players are enshrined in the Hall of Fame. There are some international stars, like Pelé, but they are included based on their playing performance in the USA.
Players, both men and women, are voted into the HOF by a panel of soccer luminaries and the media.
A previous Soccer Hall of Fame in New York state closed about ten years ago, so the sport was homeless for eight years before opening in Frisco, Texas. Frisco was selected for its booming sports town profile and because of the facilities available inside Toyota Stadium.
No mistake about it, this is a place designed with kids in mind. The complex has dozens of soccer pitches that are used by leagues. Buchholz says many families come for the weekly soccer match, and then visit the HOF for the tour.
As part of the tour, fans get to select their all-time favorite players for both men’s and women’s teams. The list is continually growing based on fan input. Visit the National Soccer Hall of Fame at 9200 World Cup Way, Ste. 600, Frisco, TX. nationalsoccerhof.com