The only team in the Western Conference that failed to make the playoffs, the Dallas Burn managed to close on a high note by defeating the playoff-bound Colorado Rapids 4-3.
On the down side, the club still has one more season to play at Dragon Stadium in Southlake, where it averaged 7,906 in attendance, down from 13,122 the year before at the Cotton Bowl. The team relocated in a cost-cutting move while it is preparing to build a new stadium in Frisco.
The poor season on and off the field led to change on the bench and the front office, with coach Mike Jeffries and general manager Andy Swift departing. Swift was replaced by Greg Elliott, a 20-year veteran in various fields of sports management.
Elliott, 42, was formerly the VP of corporate partnerships for Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment (SVS&E), which operates the San Jose Sharks of the NHL and their home playing site at the HP Pavilion.
During his seven-year tenure at the NHL Sharks, Elliott managed the sponsorship, internet services, fan development and event presentation departments. For the 2001 and 2002 MLS seasons, Elliott also served as the executive in charge of the MLS' San Jose Earthquakes. During his tenure, the team enjoyed a 50 percent gain in season tickets and paid attendance.
As part of his duties with the Earthquakes, Elliott played a major role in the head coach search process, which resulted in the hiring of Frank Yallop. San Jose was quickly rewarded, as the Earthquakes went on to win the 2001 MLS Cup.
Before joining SVS&E in 1996, Elliott spent two years with the International Hockey League, where he developed the league's first national television package. For almost four years during the early 90s, Elliott was director of corporate marketing for Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners.
The Burn will finish the 2004 season at Dragon Stadium before moving to the new Frisco Soccer Complex, which will open in the spring of 2005. The Frisco complex is a $65 million joint venture between Collin County, the City of Frisco, Frisco Independent School District and the Dallas Burn. The Complex will uniquely encompass a 105-acre facility that will include a 20,000-seat stadium along with 17 amateur soccer fields. The stadium and related facilities will be the home of the Dallas Burn, FISD Varsity High School Football Games, local, regional and national soccer tournaments, and other entertainment events on a year-round basis. The stadium will be the third soccer specific stadium to open in the United States, following Columbus Crew Stadium (1999) and the Los Angeles Galaxy's Home Depot Center (2003).