Minnesota United may be just about eliminated from playoff contention — mathematically that is — but the fun is going to be sticking around.
The Loons hope to break the attendance record for a regular season soccer game held in Minnesota. The Minnesota Kicks faced the San Jose Earthquakes in front of 49,572 more than forty years ago.
Allianz Field’s sub-20,000 capacity won’t allow the Loons to even approach that record, so United’s last game in cavernous TCF Bank Stadium, which seats about 50,800. That match on October 21st is against the LA Galaxy.
United announced on Tuesday that it has sold or distributed 50,000 tickets for the game. Whether that many fans, especially the ones with free tickets, will actually show up for the match is another question, but the club should see its biggest yet attendance.
Slightly more than 35,000 people watched Minnesota’s first MLS game, the “Snowpener,” last season.
This final match is going to be a fun one. The lower concession prices — $2 hot dogs, $1 popcorn and $.75 small pops — are certainly a perk, but think of the atmosphere.
Sure, there will be a lot of new fans there who won’t know the intricacies of the Wonderwall’s chants and may sit there wondering what the people singing had in their coffee, but TCF Bank Stadium will be loud. The M-N-UFC chant is intense enough with 20-some thousand fans, imagine what it will be like with more than 40k.
Cynics may stay at home to avoid the inexperienced or more casual fans, but this match is one last chance for the Loons to appeal to the larger Twin Cities market while they can still fit that market inside a stadium.
The game won’t matter for United in the playoff race, but it matters off-the-field for the club. It will be weird to see more fans at a soccer game than can fit inside Target Field. But it’s going to be cool.
See you in the stands, Loons fans.