The 2017 edition of the Somali-American Festival Week Soccer Tournament kicked off this weekend. The competition continues with matches every day until the final on Saturday, July 8th.
What it is:
Teams from around the United States (Vermont to Ohio to Oregon), with a healthy amount from the Twin Cities, come to Minneapolis for the nine-day tournament. There are 24 in all.
The tournament is part of what Governor Mark Dayton declared Somali-American Festival Week. The week celebrates Minnesota's Somali-American population, which is second only to Somalia in numbers, and Somali Independence Day, which was on Saturday.
Who runs it:
The competition is run by West Bank Athletic Club, who, according to their website, is a "non-profit whose mission is to provide the youth of Cedar Riverside and the Twin Cities area with quality year-round programming".
Where/When it is:
All matches are played at Edor Nelson Field on the campus of Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Games are played for most of the day until the final stages of the tournament. The full schedule is embedded below.
Here is final flyer of Somali-American Festival Week ⚽️— West Bank AC (@WestBankAC) June 29, 2017
Share it with your family & friends :) pic.twitter.com/FtSUvpCvQM
If you go:
Admission is completely free, and seating in the stands is first-come-first-served. Finding a spot for daytime matches shouldn't be much of an issue, but the bleachers fill up for night matches.
Parking is available for free in the lot on the east side of the stadium. Limited street parking is also available on the west side.
There is a concession stand inside the stadium, as well as a variety of restaurants in the surrounding area.
The atmosphere of high-intensity matches may be a bit much for some, but the soccer is lively and entertaining.