According to a recent report by the Star Tribune, Minnesota United have discussed the possibility of hosting soccer games at U.S. Bank Stadium with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), the body charged with managing the new stadium. This has Minnesota Vikings ownership up in arms after they competed against United for the right to bring MLS to the state.
Back when team ownership, state legislators, and the NFL were haggling about how to get a new stadium built in Minnesota, the Vikings asked for the exclusive right to bring an MLS team into the stadium. They were granted that in the contract for what is now known as U.S. Bank Stadium, but to what extent that may prevent another soccer team from playing in the facility without the Vikings’ consent remains to be seen.
The Vikings claim the clause would allow them to outright refuse access to the stadium to any soccer organization, including United. Loons owner Bill McGuire led an effort to bring the highest tier of American soccer to the state at the same time as the Wilfs. MLS eventually awarded that right to United, citing their grassroots support and desire to build a soccer-specific stadium as determining factors.
MSFA chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen says that while the provision may grant the Vikings the right to establish a team at U.S. Bank Stadium, it does not allow them to prohibit other soccer teams from playing in the facility completely.
United recently confirmed their commitment to play home games at TCF Bank Stadium, leaving fans and media to speculate that these talks may concern pre-season games that would otherwise be subject to chilly temperatures and frosty field conditions at the open-air TCF facility.
Read the original Star Tribune report here.