Reasons to Love Minnesota No. 92: Allianz Field

Scarves up, soccer fans!

You don’t have to be a flag-waving super fan to appreciate St. Paul’s new MLS stadium, but you’ll probably become one after watching a heated Minnesota United FC match there. Opened in April 2019 to a packed house of nearly 20,000 lucky ticket holders — the game sold out in 90 seconds — Allianz Field is unlike any other sports venue in the Midwest. ⁣

With $250 million in private financing, the Kansas City-based architecture firm Populous chased its wildest ideas through 20 months of construction. That includes a wraparound canopy that covers 87 percent of the seats (so leave your rain poncho at home), an elevated Kentucky bluegrass stage that stays green thanks to grow lights and under-soil heating, and a fantastic standing room-only section, a.k.a. the Wonderwall, that fits 2,920 soccer fiends into a steep 34.8-degree pyramid. It’s the stadium’s pièce de résistance—a source of raucous synchronized chants that electrifies the entire arena. When the team scores, this is also the section that belches out giant plumes of blue and black smoke.⁣

Which brings us to the best part: There’s not a bad seat in the house, even if you’re in the very back like we were at a July game against the San Jose Earthquakes. (We won, btw, 3-1. All  🙌 steely-faced Loons goalie Vito Mannone!) That’s because the closest vantage point is 17 feet from the field and the furthest is just 125 feet, with epic sight lines throughout. Even the nosebleed seats bless fans with a lottery-winning view. ⁣

Much ado has been made over Allianz’s food program, too. We need to try more vendors at future games, but the best thing we‘ve eaten so far was actually served outside the stadium. That’d be a generous bowl of saffron rice with tender beef barbacoa, red cabbage slaw, and garlic chili sauce from chef Justin Sutherland’s Fare Well food truck, which is parked on the public green space next to the main gates.

The 4,100-square-foot Brew Hall is another big draw with 96 tap lines (look out for Lupulin Brewing’s Hooey IPA if you want to dull the pain of $13 pints) and nachos (glorious nachos!), piled high with pub cheese, smoked brisket, and crispy jalapeños. You can check it out yourself, sans soccer ticket, by keeping tabs on upcoming screening parties for special events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Details about door times and drink specials (how do $5 drafts sound?) for non-game days are updated regularly via Allianz Field’s Instagram feed and Facebook page.

Allianz Field
400 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, MN; 612-928-2400.