You can't talk about the history of sports in Dallas without a mention of Lamar Hunt. So when the Perot Museum of Nature and Science looked to rename its sports hall, his name was at the top of the list.
Thanks to a $5 million donation from the Hunt family, the museum's sports hall will now be known as the Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall. The museum made the announcement on Monday in a conference attended by multiple members of the Hunt family, including Sharron Hunt from the FC Dallas Foundation; FC Dallas chairman and Kansas City Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt; Lamar Hunt Jr. from the Hunt Family Foundation; and Dan Hunt, vice president of the Hunt Sports Group.
Lamar Hunt, who died in 2006, played an integral part in multiple Dallas sports institutions. He was a founding member of the American Football League, starting the Dallas Texans in 1959. The Texans moved to Kansas City to become the Chiefs after the Dallas Cowboys came to town, but Hunt's involvement with Dallas was far from over. He founded the Dallas Tornado soccer team of the United Soccer Association (later North American Soccer League) in 1967 and purchased the Dallas Burn, now FC Dallas, in 2003.
Hunt was also a geology major at SMU, making his eponymous award with a science museum all the more appropriate.
In addition to the new name on the wall, the hall now features a display case honoring Hunt's sports legacy, including a Dallas Texans helmet, FC Dallas jersey, and jersey of current Chief and former Texas Longhorn Jamaal Charles.
The sports hall is one of the more popular halls at the Perot Museum, where visitors can race a Tyrannosaurus Rex, cheetah or FC Dallas player; compare their throwing or kicking motion to world-class athletes; or test their reflexes, among other athletic activities.
The Hunt family donation will be used to help fund scholarships to the museum, support technology and innovation, and bring in traveling exhibitions like the current Animal Inside Out.