Big week on tap for Allianz Field, as the home of Minnesota United is set to host the MLS All-Star Game and various events this week, during the league’s big midseason showcase.
Many events are scheduled through the Twin Cities. The festivities opened Sunday with a rededication of Fred Abbott Field in suburban Maplewood. The field was named for Fred Abbott, father of MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott, in recognition of his contributions to the sport of soccer throughout Minnesota. Yesterday: photo ops and media availability for both MLS and LIGA MX All-Stars at the National Sports Center in Blaine.
The Allianz Field action started today at the MLS Soccer Celebration on the Great Lawn outside the stadium. The fan experience features interactive fan zones, music, games, autographs, free giveaways and more. Then, at 7-9 p.m., the MLS All-Star Skill Challenge will take place inside Allianz Field, as ten players from each team compete.
Game day is set for Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., as the MLS All-Stars will take on the LIGA MX All-Stars. If you go (and we’d recommend you do; the weather forecast calls for a lovely evening, the game is sold out, but tickets are available on the aftermarket for under $100), take a minute and walk around both the exterior and the interior. This is our hometown MLS stadium, so we’ve spent plenty of time there since the 2019 opening. (Picture above: an exhibition match with Everton.) Allianz Field is an intimate venue—it’s only 17 feet from the closest seat to the pitch, and every seat is within 125 feet of the pitch. But first-time visitors will instantly be awed by the unique exterior: 88,000 square feet of transparent and laminated Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) mesh fabric wrapping the stadium. That fabric was stretched over a steel skeleton surrounding Allianz Field, backed by 1,700 emotive LED lights. By day, the PTFE mesh allows in light; at night, the LEDs can be programmed. (Populous’s Bruce Miller explains how the exterior and the stadium was designed here.)
Some tips if you do go:
- Parking can be a challenge in the Midway area on gameday, and we’re guessing enforcement will be elevated; no sneaking into the Cub Foods lot for a free spot. Consider taking light rail to the match. Metro Transit’s Green Line runs from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul along University Avenue, from Target Field to CHS Field. Virtually every major sports venue in the Twin Cities, from NBA and NHL arenas to college and NFL stadiums to MLB and MiLB ballparks, is served by this line. Check out the route and schedules here.
- When players enter the pitch, they’ll make a stop at a large stone located at the end of the entrance tunnel: a taconite touchstone, so to speak. It’s a tribute to Minnesota’s Iron Range.
- The 500-capacity Brew Hall is open to all, and it’s designed as an everyperson’s club. With a capacity of 272, the Brew Hall window wall opens to the concourse, while inside there are communal long tables a la a German beer hall.
- Food options within Allianz Field are abundant, ranging from grab-and-go stands with snacks and various beverages to larger booths offering standard stadium fare to various special stands.
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