The league and Minnesota United announced on Tuesday that the showcase game will be played at Allianz Field on August 10th. The main event will be preceded by the MLS Skills Challenge, concerts, parties and community work in the Twin Cities.
The MLS event will be the first major pro sports all-star game in St. Paul since the NHL brought their game to the Xcel Energy Center in 2004.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber said the club and its crowded stadium with 19,600 fans and the tradition of singing the Oasis song « Wonderwall » is an example for all of its clubs. When MLS clubs build football-specific stadiums – MNUFC and owner Bill McGurie built a privately funded $ 250 million venue in 2019 – the league is committed to hosting major events. That’s as big as it gets for the league.
« Bill and his partners, the club and his fans deserve it, » Garber said in an interview with Pioneer Press.
The MLS All Star team is coached by Loons manager Adrian Heath, who has led Minnesota since joining MLS in 2017.
The MLS opponent has not yet been determined. The format for the MLS All-Star Game this summer in Los Angeles featured All-Stars from the Mexican MX league as opponents. For the past 15 years, the MLS has met a major European club in the US on a preseason trip.
« We have so many options what to do with this game, » said Garber. “We will work with the club and think about what the best opponent is. This market loves this club, loves this stadium. We’re going to sell out every game we have here. So what do we have to do to be creative, have fun and create a new narrative? »
Allianz Field has hosted the US men’s and women’s games and will host legendary striker Carli Lloyd’s last US game against South Korea on October 26th.
The US men’s national team has not yet announced the location of three World Cup qualifiers in 2022: against El Salvador on January 27, Honduras on February 2 and Panama on March 27. MNUFC wants one of those games and the March match would be the most accessible given Minnesota winters.
« I think there is a chance and we will certainly try, depending on who it is and everything, » said McGuire. “It could be somewhere else in town or here. Obviously this is where the footballers want to play. »
The MLS All-Star Game will be the Twin Cities’ first All-Star game since Minneapolis hosted the WNBA event in 2018. Major League Baseball had three ASGs in Minnesota in 1965, 1984, and 2014. The NBA came here in 1994. and also attended the NHL in 1972.
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