At long last, Allianz Field hosts MNUFC game for sellout crowd

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The Loons made their home debut at Allianz Field Saturday in what is being considered by fans the greatest moment in Minnesota soccer history.

It’s the opening of a new stadium the team and supporters have longed for since its inception nine years ago.

The chants, laughter and disappointment all echoed across Allianz Field Saturday during the home opener for St. Paul’s newest gem.

“I came here to experience the home opener in a new stadium, with a new team,” said Bajol Cham, a fan. “We just got soccer in Minnesota. Finally! Hell yeah! And now we have a stadium. So, I had to come.”

Cham was among the nearly 20,000 fans who filled the new home in the Midway area of St. Paul.

“I’ve been waving this flag for several years,” said Brian Young, a Minnesota United fan. “Actually, when they first became the Loons, I ended up getting this flag and I’ve been holding it ever since.”

The game against New York City FC eventually sold out.

“I’ve been a Loons fan since the day that the team was brought together,” said Cham. “I’ve always been a soccer fan and now that we have a team in Minnesota, I can rep the team, rep the home state and still love the sport.”

A tight score kept the excitement palpable inside the stadium, too.

“If we could just win it at our first home game in the new stadium with just the energy that we’re in,” said Maddie Brand, another fan. “I’d get to be so close to see it all. I’d be so happy.”

Down to the wire, fan cheers were quickly followed by jeers as the first matchup on the newly-minted Allianz Field ended in a 3-3 let down.