Allianz Field, the new home of Major League Soccer (MLS) team Minnesota United, has officially opened its doors with owner Bill McGuire praised for delivering on his promises for the venue.
United will play its first MLS match at the stadium on April 13, but has held an unveiling ceremony for a group of fans and dignitaries. The $250m (£189m/€220m), 19,400-seat stadium in Saint Paul broke ground in June 2017 and was last month turned over to the club from construction manager Mortenson.
Allianz Field was designed by Populous and the stadium’s showpiece feature is a first-of-its-kind exterior skin made of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). “I think I spend over half my time just encouraging people to think bigger,” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press newspaper. “I’ve never had that problem with Dr. Bill McGuire. We appreciate the big vision.”
MLS commissioner Don Garber added: “He has such an unbelievable touch and vision for what he it is he believes could represent the beauty of big buildings and facilities. And from the very get-go, this stadium he promised us, he’s over-delivered on (how) it would be an icon in the North.”
United currently plays at TCF Bank Stadium, where it averaged attendances of 23,902 last season. The club has a season-ticket base of 14,500 and the Pioneer Press added that 700 standing-room-only tickets will also be available per match.
The move to Allianz Field will introduce a switch to a completely digital ticketing system to access the stadium, with the club set to upgrade its MNUFC app to accommodate the change.
United CEO Chris Wright said: “We are going to have a group of people … that will be outside of the stadium helping people with making sure the app is downloaded on all of their smartphones, etc.
“Then, if what for whatever reason, from a customer service standpoint we have issues with a client, then we will take them to our box office and make sure that they can get into the building quickly and safely.”
Image: Minnesota United