ST PAUL (FOX 9) - The Minnesota United couldn’t be more ready to play its first game in its new stadium, but that will have to wait for nearly another month.
The Loons will debut Allianz Field on Saturday, April 13, against New York City FC. It helps that they’re off to a 2-1 start, with road wins at Vancouver and San Jose.
Minnesota United doesn’t play again until March 30 at the New England Revolution.
But on Monday, it was a celebration of soccer as several dignitaries were in the Twin Cities to celebrate a “Scarf Raising” ceremony for the upcoming opening of Allianz Field. The big names included St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Governor Tim Walz, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Minnesota United Managing Partner Bill McGuire.
If the goal of Allianz Field is to capture the Twin Cities soccer community, mission accomplished. It’ll hold 19,400 soccer fans on a daily basis, and feature 17 different types of seating and service offerings.
“We wanted to establish a top-tier professional soccer team, build a stadium that was a great stadium,” McGuire said. “One that was built for the fans and the sport, and reflected the great things about our community.”
Allianz Field features four premium hospitality clubs, bike parking for 400 and most importantly, fans are as close as 17 feet from the pitch and never more than 125 feet away from the action. The field itself is also completely natural grass.
It’s a dream come true for the die-hard soccer fans, and there are a lot of them in Minnesota. Minnesota United tickets are hard to come by this summer.
“I think what’s the most unique about Allianz Field is the character of the club and the character of the community is built right into the stadium,” Garber said.
It’s the 20th new stadium for MLS, but the most up-to-date of any in the country. Allianz Field cost $250 million to build, which came 100 percent from private funding.
One of the more jaw-dropping pieces of the stadium is its 22x116-foot video board. The stadium also features 1,700 LED lights that are embedded into the exterior.
The atmosphere will be electric, and it will be tough for opponents to come into Allianz Field and get three points. Minnesota United started as a franchise in 2013 and spent the last two seasons at TCF Bank Stadium while the new stadium was being built.
For the United, there will truly be no place like home.
“To my eye even empty, it’s an aesthetically beautiful building. Just a piece of architecture, I think it’s stunning,” McGuire said. “The flow, the steel, the lights, all these things reflect Minnesota. It’s just a great facility, it’s made for the sport. It’s made for the fans, it puts all of the people right on top of that field.”
New York City FC will find that out in about three weeks. After that, the L.A. Galaxy come to Allianz Field on April 24.