In recent remarks, MLS commissioner Don Garber expressed confidence that the Minnesota United FC‘s stadium plan will come to fruition.
The United is set to begin play this year as an expansion team. Over the long haul, the franchise is slated to play in St. Paul, where a stadium will be constructed as part of a larger development proposal in the city’s Midway neighborhood.
For now, however, that stadium is not a part of the immediate future. The United will play at least a season or two at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, which will give the team a temporary home until the new stadium is ready to open.
Though the team held a groundbreaking ceremony in December, construction is not quite in full swing, as the acquisition of certain parcels still needs to be completed. That leaves some questions about the exact point at which the stadium will open, but Garber says that he believes the process will work out just fine for the league and the team. More from the Pioneer Press:
But St. Paul Port Authority President Lee Krueger told the Pioneer Press he has plans to present a development agreement to the port authority’s board on Feb. 28. The agreement will state that a developer will partner with the authority to effectively gain control of the Midway Shopping Center, which includes Rainbow Foods, and therefore speed up construction.
“Our hope is (United) get in there and get the new stadium up going as as soon as possible,” Garber said in an interview at United’s headquarters in Golden Valley. “But I’ve subscribed and have always believed in, life is a long time. We get all worked out on this month or next month or three months, and five years from now, we aren’t going to remember if it came in six months after or even six months before everybody had hoped.”
United will begin its debut season in MLS at Portland on March 3, and its home opener against fellow expansion franchise Atlanta at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium on March 12. The Loons and the U have an agreement to play at the on-campus stadium in Minneapolis for up to two full seasons.
In the meantime, stadium construction could begin as soon as April on the south side of the site, and then work to the north. Some preliminary site work on utilities has already begun.
For now, the United can look forward to its first MLS regular season match, which is scheduled for March 3 in Portland. The team’s home debut will take place on March 12.
Rendering courtesy Minnesota United FC.
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