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Kick-off at Allianz sparks campus connections

Hamline community looks forward to a positive relationship with newly opened stadium.

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Kick-off at Allianz sparks campus connections

Minnesota United FC players practice at the new Allianz Field stadium.

Minnesota United FC players practice at the new Allianz Field stadium.

MPR news, photo credit to Christine T. Nguyen

Minnesota United FC players practice at the new Allianz Field stadium.

MPR news, photo credit to Christine T. Nguyen

MPR news, photo credit to Christine T. Nguyen

Minnesota United FC players practice at the new Allianz Field stadium.

Lydia Hansen, Senior Reporter

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The Minnesota United FC had its opening match at the brand new Allianz Field on April 13, and although you could not hear the cheering from campus, social media filled with posts tagged with #mnufc as soccer fans and Twin Cities residents turned out for the event.

Mitra Jalali Nelson, Saint Paul councilwoman for Ward 4, was one of many tweeting their excitement before, during and after the inaugural game.

“I live two blocks away from the best stadium in Minnesota. My life isn’t real,” Nelson wrote on April 13.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>I live two train stops away from the best stadium in Minnesota. My life isn’t real.</p>&mdash; Mitra Jalali Nelson ⚡️ (@mitrajnelson) <a href=”https://twitter.com/mitrajnelson/status/1117260213017509888?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 14, 2019</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

With campus less than a mile and a half from the stadium, members of the Hamline community have been watching the construction leading up to the first game with interest.

First-year Sydney Larson said she was excited to have the stadium just down the road on Snelling and University.

“I’d probably go [to a match] because I have never seen a professional soccer game,” Larson said.

The proximity to campus may draw some students to the stadium, particularly those who do not own vehicles.

“It’s convenient because it’s just right down the road,” first-year Erin Tadych said.

Director of Undergraduate Admission Jen Olsen Krengel said the stadium has been on their radar, not as a recruitment tool, but a landmark for explaining where campus is to prospective students.

“I forsee us talking about it as a significant landmark,” Olsen Krengel said.

Now sandwiched between the state fairgrounds and a professional soccer stadium, Hamline is close to two significant markers that will help people familiar with the metro understand where campus is located.

“It’s not necessarily meaningful for recruitment but to give a sense of how close to the action Hamline is, and I think that’s probably what could be helpful for us moving forward,” Olsen Krengel said.

While the stadium is making itself felt on campus and in the Hamline/Midway neighborhood, Hamline is also making itself known, in small ways, in the stadium.

“We have a small advertising partnership with [Allianz Field], so Hamline will be represented at the field,” said Communication and Public Relations Specialist Christine Weeks.

Additionally, Residential Life coordinator and Cultural Studies instructor Gaith Hijazin is in the process of planning student outings to the field for later in the year. More details on the timing and ticket pricing of these outings will be forthcoming later in the year.

Organized trips may be one of the best ways to get Hamline students to go to games at the stadium. Students listed ticket prices and whether or not they would have friends to go with as significant factors in a decision to visit the stadium in the future.

“I’m not just going to go to a soccer game, but I would maybe go if some of my friends were going,” sophomore Remy Brisbois said.

First-year Erin Leverington added that although she would be interested in going to a game, the cost of tickets would determine whether or not she actually does go.

“Price would be a big piece, like is it worth it to go down there,” Leverington said.

Tickets for most matches start between $20 and $30 with most falling in the $35-$60 range. To purchase tickets for a Minnesota United FC home game at the Allianz Field, go to mnufc.com/tickets.

The next home games fall on April 28, May 4 and May 18. Visit mnufc.com/schedule for more information on each match and who the Minnesota United FC will be going up against.

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Kick-off at Allianz sparks campus connections