Minnesota United FC, the state’s professional men’s soccer team, is lining up to smash a more than 40-year-old record for the best attended soccer match in state history.
Individual ticket sales for the team’s final TCF Bank Stadium home game this season surpassed the 50,000 mark on Wednesday. The game is said to be Minnesota United’s last at the University of Minnesota stadium before they move to their flashy new Allianz Field digs in St. Paul in 2019.
Efforts to break the old state attendance record kicked off in August with Minnesota United’s “#50kToMidway” campaign. The goal from the outset was to top the 49,572 attendee record set in 1976 when the Minnesota Kicks beat the San Jose Earthquakes 3 goals to 1 for the NASL Conference Championship at Metropolitan Stadium.
To help beat the record, Minnesota United opted to try something new: opening the upper deck for seating. Tickets for that section were sold at half price for 50 hours after the initial announcement. Throwback pricing on concessions is also being offered, including $2 hot dogs, $1 popcorn, and $.75 small fountain sodas.
It could be now or never for the team to break the record as Allianz Field’s capacity will only be 19,400, with room to grow just to 24,500.
Fans cheer on the Minnesota United during a game at TCF Bank Stadium. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota United).
With a potential 50,000 or more fans in the stands, Minnesota United’s upcoming match would rank near the top of attendance draws throughout Major League Soccer’s 2018 season. Only Atlanta United FC has drawn a season-long average of more than 50,000 fans per game. Ranking second so far is the Seattle Sounders with just over 40,000 fans in the stands on average. Over the course of this season, Minnesota United has ranked seventh in average attendance with about 22,300 ticket buyers at its home games.
Minnesota United’s home finale will occur Sunday, October 21 at 4 p.m. against the LA Galaxy.