Allianz Field

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Allianz Field
Allianz Field is located in Minnesota
Allianz Field
Allianz Field
Location in Minnesota
Allianz Field is located in the US
Allianz Field
Allianz Field
Location in the United States
LocationSaint Paul, Minnesota
Coordinates44°57′10″N 93°9′54″W / 44.95278°N 93.16500°W / 44.95278; -93.16500Coordinates: 44°57′10″N 93°9′54″W / 44.95278°N 93.16500°W / 44.95278; -93.16500
Public transitMetro Minnesota icon.svg  Green Line 
Metro Minnesota icon.svg A Line
at Snelling Avenue
OwnerMinnesota United FC
OperatorMinnesota United FC
Capacity19,400
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke groundDecember 12, 2016
OpenedApril 13, 2019
Construction cost$200 million
ArchitectPopulous
Structural engineerWalter P Moore[1]
Services engineerM–E Engineers, Inc.[2]
General contractorMortenson Construction
Tenants
Minnesota United FC (MLS) (2019–future)

Allianz Field is a soccer-specific stadium under construction in Saint Paul, Minnesota for Minnesota United FC of Major League Soccer. On October 23, 2015, team owners announced that Minnesota United would build a stadium on the 35-acre Saint Paul bus barn site.[3] The proposed stadium will seat approximately 19,400, is to be completed in early 2019,[4] and will be privately financed for $200 million.[5][6][7]

On November 25, 2015, Minnesota United FC hired Kansas City-based Populous to design the stadium. On December 9, 2015, the team hired Mortensen Construction as part of the stadium construction along with Populous. Mortensen built U.S. Bank Stadium for the Minnesota Vikings in 2014–2016,[8] and worked with Populous on three other Twin Cities sports facilities: Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium, and Xcel Energy Center.[9]

The stadium will open in March 2019, according to an announcement by club CEO Chris Wright.[10]

Design[edit]

Site[edit]

Construction as of September 2017

The stadium is being built on a 35-acre (14 ha) site on the southeast corner of Snelling Avenue and University Avenue. The location is in Saint Paul's Midway neighborhood, halfway between Minneapolis and Saint Paul downtowns. The site is accessible by transit, through the immediately-adjacent Snelling Avenue Station served by both the METRO Green Line and the A Line. A city environmental assessment predicted in June 2016 that nearly a third of the attendees will arrive on the Green Line.[11]

A masterplan has been drawn up for the redevelopment of the broad area, including the stadium site and adjacent properties owned by RK Midway. This may include building new hotel and office space and the redevelopment of the existing shopping center.[6][12] The buildings occupied by Rainbow supermarket, Walgreens, Midway Pro Bowl and some adjoining spaces will be torn down. The masterplan calls for the redevelopment to be more pedestrian friendly, to accommodate large numbers of fans walking to and from the transit stations.[11]

The southern half of the site was formerly a bus barn used by Metro Transit until it was demolished in 2002. Later a big-box store was pursued for the site but not built. The site was acquired decades earlier by the Metropolitan Council with help from the Federal Transit Administration so development of the site required federal government approval.[13] The stadium itself will primarily sit on this property.

Stadium[edit]

The plans for the stadium include a ring-shaped stadium, with seating for approximately 19,400 in the first phase and 24,474 in a future expansion.[14]

A glass-like polymer mesh oval exterior will provide the stadium with a sleek facade. With an overhang partially covering the field, the facade is expected to soften the noise towards the neighborhood.[11] Color-changing LEDs will light the exterior mesh in the same manner as Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany and MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.[15]

Green space[edit]

The masterplan is pedestrian-oriented and designates 2.6 acres (1.1 ha) of outdoor gathering spaces. The stadium will be ringed by three grassy plazas and a fourth green space will be placed along University Avenue, near Snelling Avenue Station. Pascal Green will be on the east of the stadium; United Champion Plaza will be on the southwest corner; Victory Plaza will be on the north; and Midway Square will be north of Victory Plaza, along Snelling Avenue. Midway Square and Victory Plaza will express the north-south axis of the stadium.[11]

These green spaces are planned to be progressively introduced in phases as property owner RK Midway waits for existing leases on its current tenants to end. However, the timeline of these phases has not been released to the city or the public, as of July 2016. The project drew criticism as the full realization of the masterplan could take many years.[11]

Naming rights[edit]

On July 25, 2017, Allianz Life was announced as the sponsor for the new stadium. Allianz Life, a subsidiary of German company Allianz, is headquartered in nearby Golden Valley.[16] It is one of eight sports facilities around the world that will be sponsored by Allianz or its subsidiaries.[17]

Due to the stadium's resemblance to the floating city on Bespin in the fictional Star Wars universe, the future Minnesota United FC Stadium has gained the nickname "Cloud City."[18]

Construction[edit]

The stadium was planned to break ground in June 2016, but was delayed while the team awaited a tax-exemption from the state, similar to ones granted to other recent stadium projects. Despite the stadium construction being privately funded, the franchise owners stated that the tax-exemption is needed for the project's viability.[6]

In addition, because stadium construction would eliminate Rainbow Foods – an anchor tenant in the Midway Shopping Center – strip mall owner RK Midway of New York has faced lease complications with its smaller tenants. Industry analysts say intense competition between the grocery company SuperValu (which operates Rainbow within the strip mall) and rivals, primarily Hy-Vee, makes it unlikely that Rainbow will agree to terminate its lease early without a signed guarantee against a competitor moving into the shopping center.[19]

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held on December 12, 2016, and was attended by MLS commissioner Don Garber. Major construction on the site began in June 2017 and is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2019 season.[14] Steel erection began in November 2017 and construction reached a halfway milestone in late April 2018.[20]

Major events[edit]

The first official home game at the stadium will be held on April 13, 2019 against New York City FC.[21][22]

The United States men's national soccer team's opening game of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup will be held at Allianz Field in July 2019.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minnesota United FC's New Field Is Looking Great!". Wells Concrete. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  2. ^ "Facility Watch" (PDF). PanStadia & Arena Management. Sevenoaks Kent: Hemming Group. 2017. p. 115. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  3. ^ Melo, Frederick (October 23, 2015). "Minnesota United FC Announce Plan for New St. Paul Stadium Resolution". Major League Soccer. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  4. ^ Greder, Andy (November 26, 2017). "Minnesota United Stadium Construction Back on Track for Spring 2019 Opening". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  5. ^ Greder, Andy (July 28, 2016). "MLS Expansion: Atlanta is Lock for 2017, Minnesota Expected to Join Them". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Melo, Frederick (July 1, 2016). "St. Paul's Soccer Stadium Was Supposed to Break Ground in June. What Happens Now?". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  7. ^ Borzi, Pat (August 28, 2016). "Duel of Suitors Yields an M.L.S. Franchise for Minnesota". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  8. ^ Olson, Rochelle (January 26, 2016). "First of Signature Glass Doors Opens on Minnesota Vikings' New Stadium". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Archived from the original on February 13, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  9. ^ Walsh, James (December 9, 2015). "Minnesota United Picks Mortenson to Build Stadium". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  10. ^ "Allianz Field Announcement" (Video, Live Stream). YouTube. Minnesota United FC. December 15, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2018. We're gonna open in March 2019, with 451 days to go.
  11. ^ a b c d e Melo, Frederick (June 10, 2016). "Newest soccer stadium site plan has less green space". TwinCities.com. Pioneer Press. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  12. ^ Melo, Frederick (February 18, 2016). "Midway-Snelling Site Plan Outlines Movie Theater, Hotel, Stadium, Park Plaza". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  13. ^ Melo, Frederick (August 17, 2015). "St. Paul Fed-Financed Land Might Hinder Pro-Soccer Stadium Deal". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on February 28, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Van Berkel, Jessie (December 12, 2016). "Minnesota United Officials Say 'big dig' at Stadium Site Will Begin in Spring". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Archived from the original on December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  15. ^ Rathbun, Andy (2017-07-25). "St. Paul's new Midway soccer stadium gets its name". Pioneer Press. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  16. ^ Klauda, Paul (July 25, 2017). "Minnesota United's New Soccer Stadium Will Be Allianz Field". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  17. ^ "MNUFC & Allianz Field". Minnesota United FC. July 25, 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  18. ^ "Cloud City Looks Dreamy: MN United Ceremoniously Break Ground on New St. Paul Stadium". FiftyFive.One. December 13, 2016.
  19. ^ Melo, Frederick (December 8, 2016). "Groundbreaking Set for St. Paul Soccer Stadium, As Construction Snags". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  20. ^ Murphy, Brian (May 3, 2018). "Minnesota United halfway home with Allianz Field, 'the best' soccer stadium in U.S." St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  21. ^ "2019 Home Opener". Minnesota United FC. December 20, 2018. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  22. ^ "2019 Home Opener at Allianz Field" (Video). YouTube. Minnesota United FC. December 20, 2018. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  23. ^ Ryan, Megan (May 15, 2018). "St. Paul's Allianz Field set to be new soccer 'fortress' for U.S. men's national team". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-05-16.

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
TCF Bank Stadium
Home of the
Minnesota United FC

Starting in 2019
Succeeded by
Current Stadium