Minnesota United FC
|Full name||Minnesota United Football Club|
|Founded||March 25, 2015|
|Stadium||TCF Bank Stadium
|Head Coach||Adrian Heath|
|League||Major League Soccer|
|Website||Club home page|
Minnesota United FC is a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise based in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. The club will begin play in 2017, as a member of the Western Conference. The team is the league's 22nd and replaced the North American Soccer League (NASL) franchise of the same name.
Minnesota United FC's ownership is led by Bill McGuire, former CEO of UnitedHealth Group, and includes other Minnesota sports owners: the Pohlad family, owners of the Twins; Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor; former Wild investor Glen Nelson, and his daughter Wendy Carlson Nelson of the Carlson hospitality company.
Minnesota United are the sixth MLS expansion team to join from a lower division, following Seattle Sounders FC (2009), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2011), Portland Timbers (2011), Montreal Impact (2012), and Orlando City SC (2015).
On March 25, 2015, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced Minnesota United as the league's 23rd club and awarded the franchise to a group led by former UnitedHealth CEO Bill McGuire. The ownership group includes other Minneapolis sports owners, Twins owner Jim Pohlad, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and Wild investor Glen Nelson. They beat out a competing bid by Minnesota Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf. Garber said Minnesota would begin play in 2017 or 2018 – if Los Angeles FC is not ready to play in 2017, Minnesota would take its place.
McGuire bought the team, then named the Minnesota Stars, in November 2012 when it was under NASL's caretaker ownership. In September 2013, 2020 Partnership, a consortium of Downtown Minneapolis businesses, approached United about building a soccer-specific stadium by the Minneapolis Farmers Market near Target Field.
The Minnesota Legislature had passed a bill in May 2012 for a new NFL stadium projected to open by fall 2016 and gave a provision allowing for the Vikings to pursue an MLS franchise, including a five-year exclusive window to host MLS games in the new stadium. The Wilfs' bid also had the support of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, and Minnesota Senator Tom Bakk called Major League Soccer to inform them that the state legislature would not be providing financing for a soccer-specific stadium. However, Commissioner Garber said that whenever possible, the league preferred a stadium that would be an "outdoor, soccer-specific stadium, 20,000 seats, playing on grass" as opposed to larger, covered venues with artificial turf like U.S. Bank Stadium, and McGuire had the support of Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat and at least three members of the Minneapolis City Council.
Coordinates: McGuire stated a desire to build an 18,500-seat, outdoor soccer-specific stadium next to the Minneapolis Farmers Market in downtown Minneapolis. At the time of the club's launch, the league did not give any timeline for the stadium plan, but said it was working on finalizing a plan by July 1, 2015, the deadline set by the league. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said he would oppose a publicly financed stadium, but said he would not oppose ancillary support for infrastructure reinforcements.
In a plan released in April 2015, the ownership showed a projected cost for the stadium of $250 million: $100 million for MLS expansion fee, $30 million for land acquisition, and $120 million for construction. The ownership group met with Governor Dayton and other state political leaders to share the plan. The group asked the politicians for a sales tax exemption of up to $3 million on construction materials, as well as breaks or caps on city and county property taxes for the stadium site. The tax relief could potentially add up to around $50 million.
The day after the meeting, Mayor Hodges said she opposed the sales tax and property tax exemption because unlike other stadiums in Minneapolis that have received similar breaks, Minnesota United's stadium would be privately owned. The following week, the Minnesota Senate voted 61-4 to prevent any state funds or tax expenditures from being used for the stadium, although the vote was termed "largely symbolic" as McGuire had not asked for state funds and the bill would not prevent the team from seeking city or county funds. McGuire later said that he would be open to signing the property over to Minneapolis, Hennepin County, or another public entity if that would make property tax exemption possible.
Although the July 1 deadline passed without a stadium deal, and the plan for a Downtown Minneapolis stadium was the primary reason for choosing McGuire's group, league deputy commissioner Mark Abbott said Minnesota was still considered an expansion site, partly because of interest from the neighboring St. Paul. Later that month, St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman spoke to Abbott proposed building on a city-owned vacant lot that formerly housed the Metro Transit bus barn near Interstate 94.
On August 31, 2015, the team's deal for an exclusive right to purchase industrial land near the Farmer's Market expired with no public statement about any extension of the deal.
On September 8, 2015, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners passed a non-binding resolution to support the stadium's construction on the St. Paul bus barn site, provided the design and construction are paid for by private funds. On October 23, 2015, it was announced that Minnesota United would build a stadium on the 35-acre St. Paul Bus Barn site. The proposed stadium will seat approximately 20,000, is to be completed in 2018, and will be privately financed.
On November 25, 2015, Minnesota United FC hired Populous to design the stadium. On December 9, 2015, the team hired Mortenson Construction as part of the stadium construction along with Populous.
On February 24, 2016, the team revealed design plans for their 21,500-seat soccer-specific stadium, set to be built by 2018 and financed privately by the team.
Players and staff
- As of February 21, 2017 
|Year||MLS Regular season||Position||MLS Cup
Record vs. international opponents
|Date||Competition||Venue||Home Team||Result||Away Team|
|February 3, 2017||Friendly||Kino Sports Complex, Casa Grande, Arizona||Minnesota United FC||1–1||NK Istra 1961|
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- Melo, Frederick (September 8, 2015). "Ramsey County approves St. Paul soccer stadium resolution". St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- Melo, Frederick (October 23, 2015). "Minnesota United FC announce plan for new St. Paul stadium resolution". Major League Soccer.
- "A vision for the future - Minnesota United". Minnesota United FC. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "Minnesota United hire Populous as architect for new St. Paul stadium". Major League Soccer. November 24, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
- Walsh, James (December 9, 2015). "Minnesota United picks Mortenson to build stadium". Star Tribune. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
- Bedakian, Armen. "Minnesota United Reveal Plans for New Soccer-Specific Stadium". The Score. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
- "Minnesota United FC Roster". mnunitedfc.com. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
- "Front Office Staff". Minnesota United FC. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- "Technical Staff". Minnesota United FC. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- "Minnesota United Names Head Coach". Minnesota United FC. Retrieved November 28, 2016.