Minnesota United strikes stadium deal with St. Paul



Minnesota United FC announced today that it has reached a deal to build a soccer-specific stadium in St. Paul to accommodate the club’s move to Major League Soccer.

The new stadium will hold nearly 20,000 people, putting it in line with the majority of the league’s venues. It will feature natural grass and is scheduled to open in 2018. Whether that will be MNUFC’s first season in MLS remains to be seen; it is thought they could play 2017 in a temporary venue.

United currently plays in the North American Soccer League at the National Sports Center in suburban Blaine. The stadium holds about 9,000 fans and is unlikely to be considered as an MLS venue, even temporarily. Since the announcement that United would make the jump to MLS, they have seen regular sellouts and the second-highest attendance in the NASL.

It has been nearly seven months since MLS held a press conference announcing Minnesota as its newest expansion team. At the time, the club had plans to build its stadium in downtown Minneapolis, near Target Field where the Minnesota Twins play baseball. Carl Pohlad, owner of the Twins, is a part of United’s ownership group. The team and the city were unable to make sufficient progress on that plan to meet a league-imposed July 1st deadline.

United has since shifted its focus to St. Paul, where the mayor has been more welcoming and a site exists along public transit in between the two downtowns. MLS has made a point of preferring downtown stadiums, but the league appears convinced by this central location even if it is not in a downtown environment. League officials visited the site in September.

United has made a point of building the stadium—at a cost of $150 million—using no direct public funding, but they have sought out tax breaks similar to those received by the Twin Cities’ other professional sports teams. The team has been very tight-lipped about the process, preferring not to publicize the political wranglings involved.

Of the “big four” teams in the Twin Cities, only the Wild of the National Hockey League play in St. Paul. The independent-league baseball St. Paul Saints recently opened a stadium of their own in the city.

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  • Doug Foss

    Carl Pohlad passed away in 2009 his family owns the Twins, United Properties and other companies.

  • slowleftarm

    Another NASL venue leaving for the big league. Soon Cosmos will be playing intrasquad scrimmages – which would suit most Hempstead fans just fine.

    • ty

      Oh nice where’s NYFC stadium again? a baseball pitch with tickets prices that match Bundesliga? But yet they’re still loosing money in the MLS. Pyramid scheme. two franchises in LA and Miami and crop up after these same 2 cities collapsed finacially not to long ago

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