The Last Word: Dallas Jackals’ Rodd Newhouse on How Rugby Can Succeed in DFW

“I think we’re going to have sell-out crowds.”

Rodd Newhouse
COO and Co-Managing Partner
Dallas Jackals
.…on the potential success of Major League Rugby in Dallas-Fort Worth, via Dallas Business Journal.

You’d think that Newhouse, who grew up in a football-focused home with the 12-season Dallas Cowboys fullback Robert Newhouse as his dad, would have eyes only for the NFL. But Rodd always had a thing for the sport of rugby, according to the Dallas Business Journal’s David Moreno—preferring the helmet-less brawn of muscular scrums where a “try” is scored when you touch the ball down in the “in-goal” beyond the goal line. 

“When I was younger, I didn’t know what it was because you didn’t really see rugby in the States,” Newhouse told the DBJ. “I was the guy flipping through channels at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. trying to find this sport.”

Well, he’s found it all right. Shown above with Dallas Jackals GM Santiago Sodini and team president Steve Violetta at Arlington’s Choctaw Stadium, Newhouse is part of the team bringing the Major League Rugby squad to a region that’s long felt the gravitational pull of the Dallas Cowboys, as Dallas Innovates told you last August.

Despite a winless first season for the Jackals in 2022, Newhouse sees great potential for pro rugby in North Texas. The Jackals got their first win in April against the Toronto Arrows. And Newhouse believes a slow build of business along with more wins could launch a rugby revolution in DFW.

“Having at least 10,000 people in the stands would be a great market to get to and slowly build up,” he told the DBJ. “If there’s an opportunity to build a stadium in the next five years, that would be great too.”

So how to get there?

“We have to educate people on the game,” he told the DBJ. “Just telling people about rugby isn’t enough. You have to show them and have them understand what it is. If we can really do that, people will fall in line more.”

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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