ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - We are just one day away from a huge moment in Minnesota soccer history: the Minnesota United’s inaugural home opener at their new Major League Soccer stadium Allianz Field.
The Loons will face New York City FC at 4 p.m. Saturday, but before they can take the pitch, the grounds crew has to clear away all the snow and ice from this week’s spring storm.
The pitch itself is already ready thanks to a heating system, but piles of heavy snow still need to be cleared from the sidelines and seating areas before fans arrive.
The grounds crew has been running hoses with warm water down the stairs, which are a sheet of ice. Crew members have also resorted to using mallets to chip the ice off the seats.
The Loons are used to playing in wintry conditions. More than 35,000 fans braved below freezing temperatures to watch the team in their MLS home debut at TCF Bank Stadium in 2017. The 19-degree temperature at kickoff tied for the coldest match in league history at the time.
The snowy game required the use of special orange “high visibility match balls.”