Embracing the local sports scene is probably the best way to get to know a new city when traveling, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area is swarming with lifelong sports fans, popular sports bars, stadium tours that’ll make your friends (and Instagram) jealous, tailgating and so much more. I’ve been to many DFW sporting events, and trust me, win or lose, you’ll want to add one of these spots to your itinerary if you’re lucky enough to visit when one of the many home teams are in town.
This DFW Trail Guide is exactly what you need to navigate the fully-loaded sports atmosphere around the DFW area. Brace yourselves, you may need to go into extra innings to take it all in:
Begin your journey in “The American Dream City” located right off of I-30. In Arlington, you’ll experience football, baseball and even bowling!
FOOTBALL, BASEBALL + BOWLING
Arrive early to take in a Dallas Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium. Not only do the lines form early, but the tailgating in Arlington is something to experience firsthand. If you want to pre-game and get into game day spirit before tailgating, check out the local bars near the stadium that offer complimentary shuttles. Want to get a behind-the-scenes tour, including the Cowboys locker room? Look no further.
It’s no secret that Arlington is a baseball town, and the Texas Rangers have come to play! No matter how the team is performing on the field, the one thing you can always count on at Globe Life Park are the 100+ concession stands to choose from. In fact, did you know the very first ballpark nachos were introduced at a Rangers game? Trust me, there are a lot of reasons to take in a Rangers game this season in Arlington.
For less than $10, you can check out the International Bowling Museum, located in Arlington at the International Bowling Campus which serves as the educational, scientific and governing home of the entire sport of bowling. The unique museum showcases one-of-a-kind bowling artifacts and other historic pieces from the 5,000 year-old sport.
Just up the road from Arlington, you’ll find Grand Prairie right off of W. Main Street | Approx. Travel Time: 15 min.
Courtesy: Grand Prairie Tourism
HORSE RACING AND AIRHOGS
LONE STAR PARK:
This Class 1 track offers exciting Thoroughbred horse racing on dirt and grass surfaces and is also home to the multi-million dollar simulcast racebook, sports bar and massive event venue, Bar & Book. The 36,000 square foot Bar & Book venue is open to the public with free admission 363 days a year, so there’s always something to do at Lone Star Park!
Don’t miss Texas AirHogs Baseball on your next trip to Grand Prairie! The city’s very own minor league baseball stadium seats 5,500 plus 13 luxury suites and is located between Lone Star Park and Verizon Theatre. With fun promotional nights like Weenie Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fireworks, 80’s night and more, you won’t want to miss this small town baseball adventure!
Head west on TX-114 to visit Texas Motor Speedway in North Fort Worth. | Approx. Travel Time: 40 min.
Courtesy: Facebook, Texas Motor Speedway
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
Get ready race fans; one of the greatest racetracks and fast-paced camaraderie in the country is at Texas Motor Speedway. This place is something you have to see to believe. Fast cars, loud engines and rowdy fans at every turn—this iconic track has marked a true sport’s fans dream since it broke ground in 1996. Check out this Race Fan Checklist before heading to the track because you never know what weather you’ll encounter in Fort Worth.
Want to experience the thrill of racing for yourself? Texas Motor Speedway offers a variety of driving schools including the NASCAR Racing Experience. Drive a real NASCAR race car that’s been driven by some of the sport’s greatest legends including Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jr and Jeff Gordon among others.
Head east on TX-114 toward Frisco, home to seven professional sports teams. | Approx. Travel Time: 43 min.
SPORTS CITY U.S.A
FORD CENTER AT THE STAR:
The Star in Frisco is an entirely themed Dallas Cowboys campus with shops, private tours, events and the super popular (and massive) gym known as Cowboys Fit. Located in the Entertainment District, this is the place for any Cowboys fan. Be sure to check out the new Dallas Cowboys Training Camp and get your picture on the turf in front of the Ford Center. The best part? Fans get FREE parking!
Fans will find the Major League Soccer Club FC Dallas inside Toyota Stadium in Frisco (a soccer-specific stadium with a capacity of 20,500). Aside from exciting matches, soccer fans will soon be able to enjoy the National Soccer Hall of Fame, which broke ground in 2016 and is expected to be completed late 2018. Get to the game early to take a picture in front of the FC Dallas #iHeartFrisco heart, located at the north end of the stadium.
Dr Pepper Ballpark is home to the RoughRiders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Don’t miss Party at the Yard Thursdays which features $1 beers, tailgate games and the Choctaw Lazy River—open to the public (21 years + only) and probably the most unique way to take in a sporting event in all of Texas, if not everywhere.
Drive south on the Dallas North Tollway for your final stop on the tour, Dallas. | Approx. Travel Time: 25 min.
HOCKEY + BASKETBALL
THE DALLAS STARS:
American Airlines Center is an expansive, multi-purpose arena that is home to many great events in Dallas, including the NHL team: the Dallas Stars. In fact, the arena is such a well-oiled event machine, that the basketball floor can be changed to an NHL ice rink in less than two hours! It’s amazing to come one night for a Mavs game and take in an ice hockey game the very next night alongside thousands of other fanatical and screaming fans.
No matter what team you’re rooting for, I can personally vouch that a Mavericks game is one of the top NBA experiences in the league. Sure the team is fun to watch, but it’s the electric atmosphere (thanks in part to Mark Cuban, the fans and the overall sports vibe in the DFW area) that makes a Mavs game one of the most unique sporting experiences around. The Mavs also call the American Airlines Center home.