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Scarves Raised as Allianz Field’s Doors Open

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Invited guests and media members got a sneak peek at Allianz Field during the team’s Scarf Raising ceremony

March 18, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Attendees hold up their scarves during the Allianz Field Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
Attendees hold up their scarves during Minnesota United’s Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field.
Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography

On a sunny day that only led the out-of-towners to complain about going sans coat, Minnesota United FC unveiled Allianz Field to a mass of local and national VIPs during a Scarf Raising ceremony Monday afternoon. Attendees were treated to a press conference that featured Loons owner Dr. Bill McGuire, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Minnesota Governor and Lieutenant Governor Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan, and the mayors of both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

“Allianz Field is stunning,” McGuire said, pointing both to the design and the stadium’s spot in Minnesota soccer history. “It is built for the sport of soccer, for the players and most importantly for the fans.” McGuire went on to point out the numerous benefits he saw the stadium bringing to the community, including the nearly $200 million spent on construction and the assistance from city and state officials in building up the infrastructure in the Midway neighborhood before concluding, “this stadium symbolizes this state, this sport, and this community in Minnesota.”

March 18, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey demonstrates his enthusiasm is a step up from Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter during the Allianz Field Scarf Raising Ceremony match at Allianz Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey out-enthusiasmed St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter during the Scarf Raising Ceremony match at Allianz Field.
Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography

The press conference wasn’t without moments of levity, as both St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter, Jr. and Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey competed with one another for the title of Most Energetic Local Dignitary with wise cracks. “As the mayor of St. Paul,” Carter said, “I spend half of my time asking people to think bigger. I never have that problem with Dr. Bill.” Frey countered by (unsuccessfully) leading the crowd in a round of the chant “The Boys in Black and Blue,” before saying that he looks forward to coming over to games in the other Twin City, provided that Mayor Carter “stamps his passport.”

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan also dropped surprise soccer bonafides in their remarks, with Walz—admittedly more experienced in “American football” as a state title winning coach at Mankato West—noting his work as a “soccer dad” for a daughter who made the state tournament three times. Flanagan, however, stole the day by not so casually referring to herself as a “striker liker” who also kept a poster of Kicks and Strikers goalkeeping legend Tino Lettieri on her bedroom wall.

March 18, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber speaks during the Allianz Field Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber speaks during the Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field.
Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography

The plaudits for the stadium weren’t all self-serving, as MLS Commissioner Garber praised the work done by the team and local government in between a steady stream of jokes ranging from his previous times in Minnesota (“I only have one groundbreaking snow shovel”) to piling on the roast of McGuire’s oversize suits. “It is so great to see Major League Soccer be embraced by mayors, governors, and politicians to really see what a soccer league can do to improve communities,” Garber noted. “From the outset Dr. McGuire promised us [Allianz Field] would be an icon in the north and that the stadium would be recognized around the world, and he and his team have over-delivered. This is going to be one of the great stadiums, not just in the U.S. and Canada but in the world.”

March 18, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, MNUFC Managing Partner Bill McGuire, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Allianz Life CEO Walter White take questions from the media during the Allianz Field Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
Major League Soccer Commissioner Garber, Governor Walz, Saint Paul Mayor Carter, MNUFC’s Bill McGuire, Minneapolis Mayor Frey, Lt. Governor Flanagan and Allianz Life CEO Walter White take questions from the media on the Beer Hall roof deck during the Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field.
Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography

After a brief stanza of “Wonderwall” half sung by the gathered elites, media members were taken around and through the stadium, starting up on the Roof Deck over the Beer Hall. The tour made a number of stops, including the home locker room, the player tunnel leading onto the field, premium gathering areas including the Field and Stadium Clubs, the Black and Blue Shop, and various spots in the stands. We’ll have more photos as the week progresses, but here are a few highlights from our own Seth Steffenhagen:

March 18, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - View of the Brew Hall during the Allianz Field Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
View of the Brew Hall during the Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field
March 18, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Kits are on display in the Loons' locker room during the Allianz Field Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
Kits are on display in the Loons’ locker room during the Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field.
March 18, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - E Pluribus Loonum photographer Tim McLaughlin snaps photos in the locker room during the Allianz Field Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
E Pluribus Loonum photographer Tim McLaughlin snaps photos of photos being snapped in the locker room.
March 18, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - The Filed Club with it's Northern Lights inspired ceiling is where the players will walk through to get out to the pitch at Allianz Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
The Northern Lights-inspired ceiling in the Field Club features the same PTFE mesh that covers the outside of Allianz Field; players will walk through the area on the way to and from the locker room.
March 18, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - View of the Wonderwall during the Allianz Field Scarf Raising Ceremony at Allianz Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
Anyway, here’s the Wonderwall.
March 18, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - View of the entry into the main Black And Blue store at Allianz Field. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
Guests visiting the Black And Blue store at Allianz Field will be greeted by mannequins of the week’s starting XI.