Allianz Field Set To Host MLS Playoffs, Football In Same Weekend
Minnesota United will host the Galaxy at Allianz Field in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday, one day after St. Thomas and St. John's are "playing the first football game on that same field, which could wreak havoc on it," according to Michael Rand of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Allianz Field's grass playing surface has been "completely replaced in the last few weeks after problems" during the MLS regular season. Minnesota United could have "avoided at least part of the problem with the playing surface by not scheduling a football game in the first season at Allianz Field." A late change in the MLS playoff format (combined with Minnesota United earning a home game) are the "main culprits in the dual-sport weekend dilemma." But playing "different sports in stadiums has become a money-maker and a novelty" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/17).
TODAY IS GONNA BE THE DAY: The AP's Dave Campbell noted Minnesota United's first season at Allianz Field "was a smash, with an average attendance of 19,723 that was over official capacity." Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath said, "You can see the relationship that's developing between the players and the crowd, which is always a great sign. They've been incredible. The supporters have been everything we expected for this stadium." The venue's supporters' section is called the Wonderwall, a 2,920-seat, "pyramid-shaped area that allows for safe standing and rises at a sharp 35-degree incline to keep the highest rows as close to the field as possible." The energy "derived from the chanting, clapping, jumping, drum beating, flag waving and scarf raising originates there." Many of the fans that fill the Wonderwall have "backed the team since it played for much smaller crowds in Blaine" as a NASL team (AP, 10/18).