Why are the ACM Awards coming to Frisco? Look to the Cowboys

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Josh Dill was on a site visit for the 2026 World Cup when he got a heads up from the Dallas Cowboys. 

That was in October. By April, Visit Frisco staff were working to prepare hotel information and finding other ways to support bringing a large event to town. Then, this week, it became official: the Academy of Country Music announced that its annual awards show would be hosted in Frisco next year. 

For Dill, who works as director of sports and events with Visit Frisco, it all starts with The Cowboys.   

"They are a nationally recognized brand, an internationally recognized brand, the most valuable sports franchise in the world, and so it creates…we talk a lot about it here in Frisco, that halo effect," Dill said. "People go, ‘I want to be around something that is successful.’ And the Cowboys have great relationships with the Academy of Country Music, and that’s really where it started." 

The ACM's 58th annual awards show will be held at The Ford Center at The Star, the home of The Dallas Cowboys. The venue hosts everything from Cowboys practices to Frisco ISD graduation ceremonies to the filming of a sports film starring Zachary Levi. And now, the center will host its first awards show on a global stage. The move comes after the ACM hosted its 50th awards show in 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. 

"I think ACM just had a wonderful experience for that milestone event that they did," Dill said. 

When it comes to what this means economically for Frisco, Dill said it's too soon to say. But rest assured, the several-day event is looking to be similar to some of Frisco's largest events, such as the FCS Football championship, Dill said. 

"I think it’s going to be on par or exceed some of our largest events in terms of economic impact," he said.   

The event, scheduled for May 11, 2023, will also bring Frisco in front of a global audience as Prime Video prepares to livestream the ceremony again. 

"We try to champion all things Frisco, and so putting more eyeballs on our great city, putting the spotlight here, it all starts with bringing the Cowboys here," Dill said. "We knew that it would bring some media and some notoriety, and it continues to do that. So the media value of events like this, the broadcast and everything else is really incredible." 

Looking ahead, the full scope of what the event will entail remains to be seen. Dill said the event will likely spread cross the city.   

"So I think there’s going to be some concerts around town," he said. "But, I mean, the center of the country music universe will be here in Frisco on May 11, and hopefully the residents of Frisco are proud that events like this continue to come to Frisco and find Frisco to be their host."         

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