by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern
On Sat. Apr. 13, the MNUFC Major League Soccer team in Minnesota, kicked open its new stadium, Allianz Field. This was a dream made reality by many people, both those who work for the team and supporters of it.
‘It creates an environment that opposing teams will not want to walk into and will provide MN United a distinct home-field advantage.’Oscar Gonzalez, Assistant Director of Admissions and MN United Season Ticket Holder
So how exactly did Allianz Field become a reality?
This project can be traced back to 2015 when Minnesota United was awarded an expansion spot in Major League Soccer. Shortly after, the team announced it’s intention to build a state of the art soccer stadium in St. Paul at the center of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Construction of the stadium was expected to begin in the summer of 2016 with United joining MLS in 2017. MN United played at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus until moving into their brand new home.
Allianz Field seats up to 19,400 people and has 1.9 million people within 30 miles of the stadium with many more around the midwest this facility will be available to.
MSU student Frida Farstad Erikkson, who is from Sweden and a lifelong soccer player says, “I hope it will bring more people to games. I am all for soccer growing,” regarding the opening of Allianz Field.
“I would love to go to the game on April 24th when they are playing LA galaxy. I want to see Zlatan,” Errikson said, when considering which game(s) she would like to attend.
Cydney Coffey who is a graduate student in the Sport & Exercise Science program and played soccer at the Division 1 level at NDSU said, “I’m definitely excited! The stadium looks amazing from the pictures that I’ve seen! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to attend any of their games in the past so I am excited and plan on attending more games this year!”
Coffey also thinks the stadium could help soccer gain popularity in Minnesota. “I think that now that there is an official soccer stadium you will see a huge increase in people’s interest in soccer! Yes, since I’m closer to the stadium I am hoping to be able to go to a handful of their games!”
Assistant Director of Admissions at MSU, Oscar Gonzalez, has followed MN United for several years and has season tickets said, “The atmosphere was exciting and energetic. It creates an environment that opposing teams will not want to walk into and will provide MN United a distinct home-field advantage.”
Going from TCF Bank Stadium over to Allianz Field brought some changes to the game day environment. Gonzalez said, “For the players going from the turf field at TCF Bank Stadium to the natural grass at Allianz Field is a step up. Soccer players definitely prefer grass to turf. And for the fans, Allianz Field provides a much better view of the field from the stands and an environment better suited for soccer games, since TCF Bank Stadium is a football stadium.”
Gonzalez added, “Students around campus should be excited about Allianz Field opening. I see many students wearing MN United gear and having a strong presence of international students as well as the teams established here on campus have helped generate excitement about the game.”
In front of a sold-out crowd, MN United and New York City FC played to a 3-3 tie. Their next home game is April 24 at 7 PM vs. the Los Angeles Galaxy.
For more information regarding Allianz Field, MN United, or to get tickets to an upcoming game visit mnufc.com