Minnesota United’s new soccer stadium in St. Paul will be called Allianz Field, the team announced Tuesday morning.
The naming rights had leaked out Monday when the Allianz Life Twitter feed briefly featured this tweet, which was deleted after several minutes:
“Soccer fans? You betcha! Allianz Field is the new home of Minnesota United FC soccer! #MNFUC,’’ followed by a link that took Twitter users to a video tour of the planned new stadium on the team’s website.
“As a global company with a long tradition of stadium sponsorship and strong connection to soccer around the world, Allianz is proud to join Minnesota United FC in bringing this facility to soccer fans in our great state,” said Allianz Life President and CEO Walter White, in a press release. “Allianz Field provides us with an opportunity to connect with audiences both new and old, share our passion for soccer and reinforce our ongoing commitment to supporting our community.”
United’s official announcement came Tuesday morning at the team headquarters in Golden Valley.
Work is underway at the site of the $150 million stadium, which is expected to open for the Loons’ 2019 season in Major League Soccer. The team is playing this season and next season at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota.
The privately financed stadium is expected to open with a capacity of 19,400.
Allianz is no stranger to sports stadiums outside the United States. The Munich-based insurance giant has its name affiliated with six of them, including Allianz Munich, home to two soccer teams. The other stadiums are in Sydney; London; Vienna; Nice, France, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The company recently signed an agreement to rebrand a soccer stadium in Turin, Italy.
Similar comparisons have been drawn between the design of Allianz Munich and the Loons’ new stadium, in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul.
Reports that Allianz and Minnesota United were seeking a sponsorship deal surfaced in internet reports in March.
Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, the firm’s U.S. subsidiary, is based in Golden Valley. Minnesota United also has Target as a major sponsor, with the firm’s bull’s-eye appearing on team jerseys.
When the Loons were approved for an MLS franchise, it came with the expectation that the team would have a soccer-specific stadium. However, delays in getting legislative and other approvals resulted in the team leasing the much-larger Gophers football stadium for its first two seasons.
After a season home-opening crowd exceeding 35,000 on March 12, the team drew crowds of 17,000 to 19,000 for subsequent home matches. At Saturday’s 3-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, attendance topped 20,000 for the first time since the season opener.
Meanwhile, the club announced Monday that season tickets for next season will be capped at 14,000 and that its Itasca Society club of season-ticket holders is full, having reached the team’s goal of 11,842 — one for each lake in Minnesota. Deposits for new season tickets for 2018 go live Wednesday.