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Volume 26 No. 207
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Allianz Field Enhances Draw By Hosting USWNT Victory Tour Match

Within Allianz Field’s first year of existence, the Minnesota United-owned, soccer-specific facility will have hosted both U.S. soccer national teams. The USWNT Victory Tour stops in St. Paul tonight for a match against Portugal, the only match on the five-game tour played at a soccer stadium. All bowl seating tickets at Allianz Field are sold out (around 19,500), with a few premium areas remaining. “We hope that this is the platform and the springboard for many, many national team games in the future,” said Minnesota United CEO Chris Wright. The MLS club hosted the U.S. men’s Gold Cup match against Guyana in June, a successful experience that put the 22,000-plus capacity Allianz Field in pole position to land a Victory Tour match. The USSF “got to know the stadium, look at our training facilities and when they began to understand what we were trying to achieve here, that sat very well with (them),” said Wright. “This can be home for the national team. We did create it for the men, and we’re hoping to create it for the women.”

WAITING FOR IT TO BECOME OFFICIAL: The tour was not announced until the U.S. women actually won the World Cup, so Minnesota United was in a holding pattern throughout the tournament. The club held a 1,500-person viewing party at Allianz for the World Cup final, and when the U.S. women prevailed, there was extra celebration in the club’s offices, with the knowledge that their stadium stood a very good chance of hosting a Victory Tour game. Once Allianz’s hosting bid was approved -- a process that took almost six months from beginning to end -- a deal was arranged with the USSF. Wright said that the federation covers all of the stadium costs (ushers, ticket-takers, security, police, cleaning, set-up). The agreement included a small revenue share on certain products sold inside of the stadium, while the lion’s share of the gate and hospitality revenue goes to USSF.