Minnesota Vikings’ MLS talks “heat up”

Vikings new stadium

By CAITLIN MURRAY

Efforts by the Minnesota Vikings to score a Major League Soccer franchise “have heated up” with the Vikings’ new soccer-suitable stadium design, the team announced this week.

The Vikings’ new stadium planned for 2016 will be designed to MLS standards with a soccer pitch included of 121 x 72 yards.

“Securing an MLS franchise for Minneapolis-St. Paul was an important issue for the Vikings, which is why the team ensured that this opportunity was included in the stadium legislation,” the team said this week in an update on plans for the new venue.

The Vikings reaffirmed their stated interest in MLS back in spring when they unveiled their new soccer-friendly stadium design.

“Major League Soccer has plans to expand to 24 teams by 2020, and conversations regarding securing a soccer team for this market have heated up between the Vikings and MLS representatives,” the Vikings team update said.

The region is already home to the Minnesota United FC of the second-tier North American Soccer League. The Vikings supported the club last year by purchasing a block of 500 tickets made available to the public for free.

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What do you think of the Vikings building soccer-specific features into their NFL stadium? Do you think Minnesota should get one of the final MLS expansion spots? Should MLS only award franchises to teams with soccer-specific stadiums?

Share your thoughts below.

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130 Responses to Minnesota Vikings’ MLS talks “heat up”

  1. Travis says:

    While my Sounders have done fine sharing an NFL venue, that is not he norm and I really was hoping the MLS had begun to move away from this model. With the way Atlanta and Minneapolis are doing things I am worried they are getting sucked back into it. SSS is the way things need to be headed, otherwise things like a grass pitch just aren’t going to happen

    • iggy says:

      completely agree. Problem is Minnesota is significantly colder than all other markets, except perhaps Toronto, so a full season outdoor stadium with grass is a major challenge.

    • Chris says:

      Agree, and while Seattle’s success is great for the league they need to eventually move into a stadium of their own. MLS games played in NFL stadiums are second rate, and if we want to be a first rate league this kind of stuff needs to stop.

      • John says:

        Umm, why would Seattle need to move to their own stadium? They have large crowds that fill out CenturyLink Field quite nicely and for big games they sell the entire stadium out. There’s great atmosphere and it’s a far cry from the ~12K crowds at the old Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City back in the day. To say that no MLS team should play in a NFL stadium is disingenuous. With the right stadium, the right configuration and the right supporters it can work out quite well.

        • NICK says:

          +1 million to you. Euro snobs go suck a lemon.

        • todd says:

          if MLS is serious about adopting a schedule compatible with the international soccer calendar then sharing an NFL venue will not work. end of story.

          • jared says:

            MLS will NEVER have a European schedule. It is too cold to have a winter schedule like in Europe. People. It will NEVER happen. and there is nothing wrong with that.

            • tom says:

              Europe isn’t cold in the winter? I’m pretty sure the Germans, Poles, Austrians, Russians, etc. would not agree with you.

              • bj says:

                Russians are off in the winter. They play a Fall and Spring split season.

              • The Imperative Voice says:

                The Germans take a winter break while playing a single season.

                Austria splits its season in half.

                Russia used to play March-November like us, changed it to international, but then re-adjusted it to have a four month winter break. So the bonus value of the international version is the season is no longer continuous. Yay!

                Many Scandinavian leagues don’t use international schedules.

                England is a Gulf Stream quirk.

        • MLSsnob says:

          Football lines and artificial turf, that’s why.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Amen, last season the best attended team was in a football stadium and the worst attended team was in a SSS. There is no single recipe for success.

          It’s also worth pointing out that Seattle’s franchise success is part of what lets them bring in Dempsey, EJ, Martins, et al.

          That being said, it remains to be seen if Minnesota would scale up to MLS attendance levels. They attend a minor league team just OK. I think a lot of NFL teams (Atlanta) are looking for tenants but I’m not sure those teams have ready made soccer fanbases. And I’m not a fan of expansion risks. I think Orlando and Miami might already be pushing our luck.

          • mack says:

            Completely agree. When is the last time a usmnt friendly or anything was played in either atl or msp. Its a huge risk. I used to live in kc. The wizards were not even visible to the public then all of the sudden wc 2010 happened then the man u friendly and u could tell soccer was growing in popularity. Same thing when I moved to philly there was always international and club friendlies held here that made it clear we could also support a team. These markets need to be tested. St louis has drawn huge crowds to their international and club exhibitions each year. Maybe that would be a safer bet.

      • Robb says:

        you obviously have never been to a Sounders home game. Nobody can have experienced that atmosphere and come away thinking anything other than “world class.”

    • Eric W says:

      It seems like a great model to me, especially from an urban-planning and environmental perspective. Building stadiums is generally a pretty destructive process for a city. Sure there are benefits, but the biggest benefits are intangible – the love of having a hometown team. While the biggest problems are very real – loss of housing, tax-payer money being spent on less-than-necessary things.

      It also seems like from a marketing perspective having teams in the NFL and MLS that are branded together could be really great.

      • DanO says:

        Yeah, the Patriots have been HUGE for the Revolution…

        • bryan says:

          not comparable. just like it’s not fair to say Atlanta or Minnesota would be ok just because Seattle worked out.

          it depends on the ownership group and how much time and effort (and money) they want to put into the MLS team. do they engage the community? is there a passion for soccer in the area to begin with?

          obviously Kraft hasn’t really been interested in bettering the Revs or engaging the community. or maybe Boston just doesn’t care for soccer. then you have Seattle who spend money and actually care about the Sounders. plus, the passion for the game up there to begin with.

      • Travis says:

        Not sure how long youve followed MLS but for a lot of its history teams were stuck playing in cavernous NFL stadiums and barely filling 20% of them, it looked awful and was embarrassing for the league. In addition to not filling it, if the field is grass sharing with an NFL team guarantees the pitch will be awful in the fall. I get how it’s a great idea financially to share but it rarely works out well for the MLS team

      • bottlcaps says:

        While I generally agree it is best to conserve resources, In this case, from a sporting perspective, NO. having 20K+ fans in a 50k+ stadium never looks good on TV or in a marketing perspective. Even trying to disguise the empty seats doesn’t really fool anyone. Everyone KNOWS it’s a NFL stadium and immediately puts the MLS team on secondary role of tenant.

        It also shows that the NFL team is just looking for another revenue stream for their primary tenant, the Vikings, and the MLS team would just be another sports tenant with a second class status. Although it;s tempting to go with an NFL team because of the deep pockets, with the exception of the Sounders, the other teams using NFL stadiums suffered (including the Revs) It is ALWAYS better for the health of the MLS team and the MLS in particular to have a soccer specific stadium. It adds to the value of the team and sets it apart.

        But having a team in Minn, would pour VERY COLD water on the idea of switching the MLS season to Europe’s schedule. Can you imagine playing outdoors in Minneapolis in December, January and December? No amount of canoodling with a warm weather/cold weather team scheduling would make this work. The MLS would have to take a 3-4 month “break”..yeah right.

        I hope the MLS is not seriously considering the Minn or Atlanta MLS/NFL deals. Although some NFL owners were the strongest supporter of the MLS in the beginning of the league, it is NOT in the best interest of promoting soccer in the US by closely aligning with many NFL owners ans facilities

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      IF, and it is a huge IF, the model was the same as the Sounders/Seahawks, then it would be great..ok, great with turf…but this doesn’t sound the same at all…same ownership sounds more like New England.

    • CS says:

      Don’t forget NYCFC playing in Yankee Stadium until they get their SSS: you’re welcome to hold your breath.

      I know 18k people will look more impressive in a 45k seat stadium than a 70k seat stadium stadium but only slightly.

      At least ATL and MIN will have their fans closer to the pitch than NYCFC will.

      • Travis says:

        Soccer in a baseball stadium is even worse, the field looks completely wrong. Also I still have concerns about if the SSS there will ever actually get done, building isn’t exactly quick in NY

        • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

          How about soccer in a really old, dilapidated football stadium that was reconfigured as a baseball stadium?

  2. TomG says:

    Finally. I don’t know why this market hasn’t been mentioned more. It’s the perfect spot for a team”. The Minnesota Kicks were regularly near the top in per game attendance while in the NASL, averaging over 30,000 for two years, and always in the top half. The Minnesota Strikers, in their one year of outdoor soccer, were second in the NASL in attendance. It’s a real sports market with a history of supporting its teams passionately. It’s also a top 15 Nielsen market.

    • Travis says:

      I think they havent been mentioned a bunch because there wasnt really an interested ownership group in place, that is a must and if one has stepped forward I would think this area will get consideration.

      • TDO says:

        My college soccer coach worked for an NASL team in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He used to always say the Kicks were one of the few teams that was consistently possible until their last year. He felt it was a shame to move the team after three or four years of running in the black due to one year of running in the red. I don’t know how true all this was, but his perception was that Minneapolis WAS one of the best markets in the country back then.

    • Clyde Frog says:

      Averaged over 30,000 for 2 years? Are you sure abut that?

    • slowleftarm says:

      Minnesota is a far better market than Atlanta or Miami. Not in an NFL stadium though. I thought those days were over.

  3. Phlub says:

    More grass, less interfering NFL lines/logos — otherwise I wouldn’t care so much about soccer-specific stadiums so long as they are fulfill the rest of MLS’s requirements.

  4. fischy says:

    There’s more to being “soccer-suitable” than the width of the field. Stands should be much more steeply pitched for good sight lines, structures that hold in/amplify some of the fans’ sounds, and, above all, a grass field. I don’t see any of that there.

  5. whoop-whoop says:

    This is an add in to a sales pitch made to a city that has been fighting to find a way to keep their premier sports franchise/football team and work out a stadium deal for quite a while now. An MLS team will be the stepchild in all things regarding infrastructure, playing surface, scheduling and no better than a side project to help justify/fund the massive cost of a new stadium sitting empty a good part of the year. In order to make this a top level professional facility suited for soccer, lots of consideration, innovation and money would have to be spent in order to make it work in a climate as extreme as Minnesota and a facility shared with another franchise playing American Football. Whether you want to call me a cynic or a realist…. ain’t no way in &^%$ that is going to happen in this case. There are plenty of much better situations for MLS to expand and with the number of new teams coming in in the near future, they shouldn’t be in any hurry anyhow.

  6. iggy says:

    hopefully there will be advancements in turf to make it play more like real grass for soccer. even the best field, which I think is Portland, still has fast rolls and high bounces. Surely there’s a pile of cash waiting for the field turf companies who can ultimately figure that out.

  7. A.S. says:

    Should be perfect when MLS moves to the European calendar.

  8. chuck says:

    Name the MLS team the Vikings and you won’t have a logo problem.

    • MLSsnob says:

      Still dosen’t address the football lines. So confusing watching a soccer game with football lines. Did the ball go out? Not sure, how can you score a goal if the goal is out of bounds?

  9. John says:

    If you were actually serious about having both an NFL and MLS team could do something like the Arizona or Schalke stadiums? Have a grass MLS field that could roll in over a NFL turf field? Seems like that could be a solution. However I don’t think these owners are serious and are just trying to fill a calender to justify it being built to the city.

  10. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I agree with Travis and Chris. Sharing an NFL stadium is a recipe for disaster. Who wants to go back to watching a game with 22K fan in a 75K seat stadium? Been there, done that with the MetroStars. What is MLS thinking? I thought the goal was for every MLS team to have a SSS, no?

    • drew11 says:

      ATL is strictly a corporate and TV market play. MSP has serious weather issues so an indoor stadium makes some sense..

      • Phil says:

        The fact that MLS is even considering Atlanta is ridiculous. They lost both their hockey franchises, the Hawks can’t draw, the Braves can’t draw despite their success, and the Falcons are inconsistent with attendance. What makes you think in a town dominated by the SEC that MLS will survive?

        • Noel says:

          Arthur Blank! Only reason MLS can survive in ATL . An owner with deep pockets is why MLS didn’t die in 2001.

  11. byob el paso tx says:

    No thank u and only if seattle made a real soccer stadium so all teams (including expansion) teams can make their own sss.
    Look at vancouver, they will never get their sss.
    Revolution is a mess.
    Now expansion teams want to join with NFL stadiums and expect seattle success.
    As a matter of fact, seattles game atmosphere could be even even better if their stadium has actual soccer stadium dimensions. You don’t need a nest, suites on one end and fake grass. If becks can.get a stadium for miami, then many teams in MLS will look bad.
    Another thing, MLS needs to pursue european rich skccer heads, just like they did with nycfc and how becks is doing it. If americans.rich people dont wanna.be part of soccer, soon they will cry.and ask for stake.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Man, I have been to Seattle’s stadium over 200 times…mostly for soccer games.
      Didn’t realize it was NOT actual soccer stadium dimentions. What exactly disqualifies it ? And does this take it out of the running as the greatest stadium in the world ?

      Dang. 2013 might be going out badly for me…please let me know quickly…

      • RBNY says:

        Stop. Seattle’s “stadium” is far from a world class venue at any stretch. In terms of soccer – well, its not even a soccer stadium. Fans elevated away from the pitch with high walls and crappy sightlines.

        Go to a game at RBA, BBVA, Sporting Park – and you’ll actually be able to watch the game the way it was meant to be showcased.

        In terms of an American football stadium, it is still leagues behind MetLife or Cowboy stadium. Nothing world class about it to be honest.

        • McQ says:

          RBNY Are you insane??? Seattle’s stadium is leagues behind MetLife? I am a Giants season ticket holder and that stadium is an abomination! I don’t know a single Giants or Jets fan who thinks it is a good stadium. A moneymaker for the Mara/Tisch/ Johnson kabal for sure but the word that comes to mind is “unremarkable”. Bigger and more expensive also come to mind. RedBull Arena is way nicer and a much more enjoyable experience.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Also, they don’t need suites ? Dempsey is here because of those suites. You sure about that ?

    • Pingunça says:

      Maybe it’s the Don who is forging an unholy alliance with the NFL..? piggybacking off their riches to build a league. Sorry,, but since the 5 or so years since Sounders joined the league.. this league has taken off. It’s not Seattle doing.. its the change in strategy..

      Nostalgia for empty staida hurts,.. but we;re not going back there.

  12. RBNY says:

    This will be no better than the Metros at Giants Stadium, or the Wiz in Arrowhead. So trash bag looking.

    • Luke says:

      If I recall none of those stadiums you mentioned were located in the center of downtown of those respective cities, neither is Gillette Stadium. I live in Minneapolis and IF an MLS team were to start playing here, I would much rather go see a game in a brand new $1 billion dollar, domed stadium in downtown Minneapolis than a SSS 20-30 miles out of the city center.

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        True. Seattle had a downtown stadium but also a preexisting fan base with passion. Where’s that for MIN and ATL?

  13. Cosmosfan says:

    MLS once again looking to NASL markets to pillage…and I/O’s looking to get involved with MLS for no other reason that to book venue dates and tax write offs. lame.

  14. Uncle Grandpa says:

    Great, another MLS team that will be second rate to an NFL team

    Looking forward to seeing “MORE” turf and football lines during playoffs

  15. trevor says:

    I have no problem with it as long as “downsizing technology” is used just like they’re exploring in Atlanta. Still don’t know what that means but hopefully it works good.

    • PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

      Pretty sure “downsizing technology” is just code for “tarps over the empty upper deck seats”. Soccer teams playing in football stadiums like Seattle and New England, demonstrate this concept well.

      Vancouver does it the best though – with those bed sheets that hang tastefully from the rafters, making each White Caps home game look like a modern dance experience.

  16. trevor says:

    Also, wasnt there a Farmer’s market group that wanted its own specific soccer stadium built? Whatever happened to that?

    • Luke says:

      Trust me after shelling out for Target Field(Twins), TCF Bank Stadium(UofMN), Vikings Stadium, St. Paul Saints minor league baseball Stadium, major remodeling of Target Center(Timberwolves) and equal amount for Xcel Arena(Wild), no one in Minnesota is going to OK a SSS anytime soon. In less than 10 years we have shelled out over $2.5 billion in sports facilities.

      • Noel says:

        That effort includes the Twins from what I understand. When a baseball team in this country wants something they get it. As simple as that!

  17. Smith says:

    I’ve been watching MLS since inception. The LAST thing MLS needs is soccer in cavernous football stadiums on field turf.

  18. beto says:

    cool stadium… MN has hope but I would certainly prefer a SSS in a market that isn’t already loaded with pro teams like Austin or St. Louis

  19. bk says:

    MLS is.just being used by NFL owners trying to dupe cities out of more public funding for their new stadiums. This is a disturbing trend emerging. The priority should always be on SSS

    • McQ says:

      +1 Maybe Garber is trying to get into the same country club as Roger Goddel and he is cutting side deals.” Listen Roge, I’ll help get Minnesota a stadium and then you write a letter or reccomendation to Judge Smails and Dr. Beeper for me.”

  20. landon klinsmann says:

    Football stadiums are a huge waste of money and urban real estate. They host only 8 games per year (for us Browns fans, anyway) and they mar the landscape. Adding an SSS only doubles the problem. From an economic perspective, it makes much more sense to co-locate football and futbol in the same place. Having been in the cavernous RFK for D.C. United games, I realize it detracts from the spectacle to have an entire tier of empty seats, but that is only part of the reason why SSS’s are needed. The bigger problem is the size of the pitch and if Minn. gets that then it is a start.

  21. byob el paso tx says:

    So sad soccer stadiums dont get city council votes or public funds. Soccer is the sport of the future in america and MLS teams dont get help, and MLS is doing it right, not like nba nfl mlb.
    Like i have said before, that new arena land should be for seattle sounders soccer stadium.
    As for the revolution, they are waiting for a miracle from the soccer gods .
    Dc is making moves, but the redskins will get a new stadium in a blink at rfk.
    So what happens if nba, nhl, mlb expands……i guess MLS will be push the side :-(

  22. alka246 says:

    No no and no… I actually turned OFF the MLS playoffs because of the NFL/MLS stadium partnerships. The MLS playoffs being played on fields full of NFL lines was a complete and utter joke. It actually reminded me of the old days of MLS and made it look completely bush league. One of my first thoughts was actually “Clint Dempsey came back to play on this crap?”

    I didn’t watch another game of the MLS playoffs or final after that. Maybe that sounds petty but I still can’t get over it, even now.

    • bryan says:

      elitist attitude. did you turn off the Man United game when OT had rugby lines?

      is it ideal? of course of not. but this petty, elitist, “woe is me” attitude bugs the sh!+ out of me. i continued to watch because i support the league and if i’m not going to, who will? but you better believe i let MLS know my feelings on the matter.

      • alka246 says:

        It’s not elitist at all. I fully support MLS even though I have zero rooting interest in anything regarding the league living in Atlanta as I do. I actually think having an MLS team in Atlanta is a BAD idea. This town doesn’t support the teams we have and getting downtown for a soccer game would be a nightmare. If they came though, I’d be going to games to support the MLS.

        Part of sports is the visuals of the product. Look how NBC is handling the EPL as opposed to Fox. It’s now a polished, finished product that is so much more entertaining to watch than what Fox had to offer. Ratings are also probably more than double.

        As far as Man U playing on Rugby lines. You are comparing apples to oranges. They weren’t playing with huge, bright, colorful NFL team logos at both end lines and a huge emblem in the middle. You also didn’t see yellow lines marking the field of play. Plus I wouldn’t watch Man U if I had to, they are incredibly boring. I’ve literally stood on a soccer/rugby pitch in England with the rugby lines (huddersfield town) and it’s not even close to what MLS dumped on fans.

        • bryan says:

          it’s literally the definition of elitist. in regards to your comments about not watching the MLS playoffs because of the lines.

          i understand the importance of the visual aspect. like i said, it isn’t ideal. but to REFUSE to watch a game because of it IS elitist. it shouldn’t be standard and MLS should do everything in their power to make sure it never happens again. but it is what it is and i still watched. i certainly don’t think i’m too good to watch a game because they had scheduling issues and the paint wouldn’t have dried in time. lesson learned for MLS.

          as for NBC vs. Fox. that is apples and oranges. FSC was on a tier that cost even extra while NBC Sports is on the same tier as ESPN. so comparing those ratings is pointless.

          • alka246 says:

            I guess we will just have to disagree, which is perfectly ok in my book.

            My main point was going back to MLS and NFL partnerships and how MLS should push for soccer specific stadiums although I doubt I clearly made that point. I’ve been watching soccer for a long time and the MLS is till 2nd tier really. Making huge strides, yes, but still has a long way to go.

            • bryan says:

              fair enough, i am also ok leaving it at that!

              i am with you that SSS is certainly ideal, but i guess i was just taking issue with your point that you stopped watching the playoffs altogether after the 2 games that had NFL lines.

            • slowleftarm says:

              While I don’t agree with your other comments you are totally correct on NBC’s coverage of the EPL. It’s so much better than Fox.

      • MLSsnob says:

        Also, if we had an MLS team in MN I would support it. But until we do I say it’s a bad decision.

    • slowleftarm says:

      “Maybe that sounds petty but I still can’t get over it, even now.” There’s no maybe about that.

    • Brian says:

      It’s not petty or elitist to want a professional product to look professional and to not consume it if its not. It only feels this way b/c soccer fans are uniquely presented with this issue more often and more brazenly. If anything, the idea that it is petty/elitist is a weakness that will be exploited by those looking for a crack in the wall of the model which has brought so much success for MLS in recent years. Slowly we’re seeing that mentalities from the bad old days are creeping back in — the huckster used-car sales pitches for NFL/MLS stadia, the backlash from purists, and then the backlash against the “snobby” purists — the whole thing is a cringe-worthy flashback to the days most thought left behind.

      • bryan says:

        that is not what the argument was. did you read the rest of the conversation? there were TWO games in the MLS playoffs which had those lines. it was an unfortunate result of poor scheduling.

        what IS elitist is to then not watch any other MLS playoff games from then on out because of what happened in NE and in Seattle. we can ALL agree the lines were awful and i would not blame anyone for not watching THOSE games. it’s pure chaos on TV with so many lines.

        but again, as stated further down the conversation, the elitist attitude kicks in when you don’t watch the rest of the MLS playoffs as a result. those games were a single leg of the conference semi-finals! there were many games after that which were fantastic and absolutely worth watching, especially as an MLS fan.

        • Brian says:

          Maybe, but I think the broader point is to be vigilant and not get suckered into resting on our laurels. While you’d like to think that the mere existence of one or two NFL lines games can be overlooked or shouldn’t cause people to tune out in total, if you play around with it much more, sorry, it will reflect poorly on the entire product. When you consider the very real possibility of adding two additional NFL/MLS stadia, the questionable likelihood of replicating SEA in ATL and Minn., the possible number of what we all seem to consider cringe-worthy MLS games increases quite dramatically. Yes, only a few games during the playoffs were affected, but look at the outcry that it created. Dismissing that merely as “elitism” is foolish and dangerous; particularly when the people we insult for being passionate about the sport have so many other viewing options today relative to the past. Maybe the recent games, if considered in a vacuum, are not a huge deal. But, taken along with everything else, it is concerning.

  23. Brian says:

    If you don’t like the new stadium for MLS then don’t support or watch it. Personally, I would rather have a MLS team in the new stadium over not having a MLS stadium. It seems pretty simple to me.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Did you follow MLS back in the day? Its not the stadium. Its about having Passionate ownership groups with a stadium .

      • MLSsnob says:

        Also, the viability of the league. We can’t expand for the sake of exansion, see Miami and Tampa. Every expansion decision needs to be informed and educated, anything otherwise would be bad business.

  24. Brian says:

    edit

    I would rather have a MLS tea in the new stadium over not having a MLS team.

  25. John B says:

    I understand the value of getting a soccer-specific stadium, but I just don’t think that’s realistic for the Twin Cities. We’ve been notoriously stingy as a state (*cough* St. Paul, *cough*) when it comes to publicly funded projects (we’re only now on our second light rail line). But the first step is having a place for them to play, and this new, fortunately roofed stadium is a good step. The Vikings owner is a convicted racketeer. But we do have a good fan base for soccer, so I just hope the MLS doesn’t go through with the change to Europe’s sked, if they need to us to get an SSS.

    • Bobb says:

      MLS stadiums are like $80-120 million. And minimal public funding would be needed (maybe just some help with land and some breaks) if an owner could build it privately (see SJ Earthquakes). Minnesota United’s owner has that kind of money if he’s interested.

      • Steve says:

        From what I understand the United FC’s owner is not interested in MLS. Personally, I have to no problem with a shared stadium has long as it can accommodated the atmosphere for the size of crowd that they draw, such as what is done in Vancouver and what is planned in Atlanta. Also it is my understanding the new stadium will have natural grass and for those nice spring months the side windows swing open to allow for a breeze.

        • Didier says:

          You’re not paying attention, then. Minnesota United ownership has visited other MLS stadiums and was at MLS Cup. The only way MLS should come here is with a SSS in the Farmer’s Market, which is not as unrealistic as some people assume.

  26. Rey Pygsterio says:

    Terrible road for MLS to go down. These NFL owners simply want to use MLS teams as a stadium revenue stream in the offseason. Just say no to football stadiums, MLS.

  27. Tom says:

    You guys know many EPL stadiums aren’t just used for soccer anymore now, right? Rugby League games are also played in many now theses days. Bills have to be paid and these days a stadium just being used once, maybe twice, a week for one sport is just unrealistic.
    I agree, grass will always be my personal favorite to play on, but to keep the stadiums sustainable these days, there is nothing wrong with sharing… especially if they are sharing a stadium that was built to accommodate both sports (not like previous years, where soccer fields were squeezed into stadiums that were only built with football in mind.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Its not about the stadium tom. Its about the ownership group. Whats their plan from a soccer perspective? Wheres their team, their fans? What have they shown that screams : “We are passionate about this.” If you have no passion; you will fail at your business. Dont care what it is. The Wiz and Revs and even DC and NYRB too play(ed) in shared stadiums- which was not good.. The sounders are the exception. But they had organic support before they awarded an MLS team. ATL & the MIN NFL group do not.

  28. Jim Foreit says:

    Terrible road, I agree. The last thing MLS needs is another artificial surface and a stadium that is only 20% full for games.

  29. BrianK says:

    Nooooooooo! Don,….don’t do it!

  30. Bill K says:

    Battle of the Minnesota billionaires Vikes owners vs. NASL Minn. United? Hopefully they would work together on this. I would personally be a bit bummed if they play in a half empty monstrous stadium with a bad field but $$$ will dictate the direction this goes. The Minnesota storyline might get really interesting soon.

  31. Didier says:

    Others have referenced this, but I wanted to emphasize that there is a realistic second option for MLS in Minneapolis that would be absolutely perfect. The new Vikings stadium should have gone on the western side of downtown, near Target Field, but it ended up on the Metrodome site because it was marginally cheaper. As such, a perfect location right next to Target Field and the Target Center (not to mention parking and transit) still exists for a stadium. Recently a downtown advocacy group began publicly pushing for a SSS here.

    It’s not that far-fetched.

    For one, there is a potential owner. Former United Health CEO Bill McGuire saved professional soccer in the Twin Cities when he bought our NASL team in 2012. The team, which is run by McGuire’s son-in-law, rebranded as Minnesota United and has rejuvenated professional soccer here. The team has partnered with local businesses, is active on traditional and social media, and has already made steps to move back to an urban location — pro soccer here has largely been base out of Blaine, a suburb 30 minutes north of downtown Minneapolis.

    The Minnesota United ownership group and management team are active is exactly the way that has been successful in places like Kansas City and Seattle. Plus, McGuire is wealthy enough to be the principal owner of an MLS team. And here’s the kicker: Earlier this month it was reported that McGuire toured Sporting Park during the MLS Cup.

    The most common reaction when people hear of this plan is that Minnesotans aren’t going to subsidize another stadium at this time. I’m not so sure. For one, the Vikings stadium required nearly half a billion dollars of public money. A nice MLS stadium can be built for less than half of that; any public subsidy could be minimal. An MLS stadium is also a much easier sell. It’s relatively cheap, offers more events and continues revitalizing the North Loop neighborhood.

    The Vikings ownership clearly has the advantage. They have a ready-to-go stadium in 2016, lots of money and deep commercial relationships within the city. The Vikings also have an exclusive right to an MLS team that plays in the new stadium for five years, although that’s kind of irrelevant anyway.

    If MLS awards a franchise to the Wilf family to play in the new Vikings stadium, it will — combined with Atlanta — signal that the league has jumped the shark and is awarding teams solely based on ownership wealth. If MLS can work with Bill McGuire and Minnesota United to build a SSS is the entertainment district of downtown, the league will have another success with the same formula that worked in Toronto, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and now Kansas City.

    link to bizjournals.com

    • byob el paso tx says:

      Nice :-) i read that before n i went bananas. I hear minnesota has a lot of soccer fans and a hip downtown. Garber should go with the sss stadium. I like the name minnesota st.paul united

  32. Fat Albert says:

    I don’t have a problem with the sharing. I have a problem with the lets squeeze a soccer field into our football stadium mentality.
    Ever notice a corner kick at a sounders game? I’ve seen Rosales fight te sign boards every time he takes one. The field can’t be more than 70 yards wide. Our sport needs a wider field to open up the play. It just doesn’t work in nfl stadiums. I’m baffled as to why the nfl teams build a slightly too small stadium. At some point they are going to miss out on a World Cup game because teu could allow an extra 4 yards of width at their precious field. Make it big and allow both sports enough room.

  33. Brian says:

    Garber has changed course. He’s no longer looking to place teams in cities with strong grass roots support and SSS. He is now chasing markets create balanced geographic distribution. While this might help secure a better broadcast agreement in the near term, it will hurt the league in the long term as the quality of the TV broadcast will suffer and people turn to EPL broadcasts. He should be making it clear that Seattle (and now NYCFC) are the exception not the rule. He needs to tell the Vikings & Falcons that artificial turf, mega stadiums will not be considered and that if they are serious they should put their weight behind a separate SSS in their respective cities rather then use an MLS team to increase utilization of their football stadiums.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      +1000. Sadly I’m afraid he’s just going to where the $ is. with total disregard of “who” owns the team. Where they will play And what their support looks like.

  34. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    BAD , BAD ,BAD!! I understand garber is after TV money and wants to get owners with deep pockets in the league. I get that. But this seems counter intuitive to how the league has been expanding over the last couple of years. Same goes for ATL. These NFL ownership groups will have conflicting interests. They have no Soccer Team currently in place and No Fans to fill up their big stadiums! Wheres is organic support and passion for the game being shown by these groups. Their plan is literally “if they build it. they will come”..I really dont want NFL owners in the league that will consider their MLS team as tax write off for the NFL teams. I dont want Grid Iron lines on the field. I dont want a pop up franchise being ran by NFL guys either. Look I love the NFL and its a great league, but the MLS deserves better than “Kraft-like” owners. If is MLS is so adamant about going to key Markets and being geographically balanced. Fine. But be smart about it. I’d hate to see an other team be treated as a step child by some rich NFL guy.

  35. MLSsnob says:

    I’ve reached a final decision…I’m not supporting this venture.

  36. trevor says:

    there is another article out talking about Minn. United owner’s interest.

    link to soccer.si.com

    A couple of things I got out of it:
    - MLS officials have been meeting more with United than the Vikings ownership
    - Twins ownership has been interested in MLS for a while and are teaming up with United it seems.

    I would rather have a SSS built than sharing a big NFL stadium. So I’m rooting for United (although would hate it if there was DC United, Miami United, and Minnesota United in 1 league).

  37. Joe Leyba says:

    They should have used this image for the story. At least it’s a soccer field.

    link to mls4mn.com

    And if you want to follow along at home, we’ve got a site: link to mls4mn.com

  38. Joamiq says:

    Another NFL team trying to order MLS as a side dish. No thanks.

  39. Pingback: Are Things Heating Up in Minnesota? - Major League Soccer for Minnesota

  40. Thisten says:

    I’m pleased to see that these articles on MLS expansion routinely receive 100+ comments.

  41. I wrote about this possibility a couple years back doing investigative reporting that there were discussions in the NFL offices to start a competing pro soccer league…
    link to americanizesoccer.com

  42. Drew Jensen says:

    Everyone that is saying Vikings have deep pockets, please… no they don’t. Wilf is worth 1.3 Bill, and McGuire (owner of MNUFC) is worth 1.2 Bill. So they are pretty much the same here.

    Wilf doesn’t care about the teams, as we can see by the Vikings. He only wants most seats filled. McGuire actually seems to care about the sport and yes, it’s an investment for him and has lots of growth potential… MLS, SSS.. plenty.

    No to Vikings owning. No to the stadium. Yes to MNUFC going MLS. Yes to the new stadium in the Farmers market by the 20/20 group.

  43. Pingback: Minnesota United joining forces with Twins to explore possibility of landing MLS team | Soccer By Ives

  44. tim says:

    That field looks like Cowboys stadium too much, the area available on corner kicks would be terrible. IMO, games should not be played in Cowboys stadium. Despite the corner situation, gold cup pitches were terrible in there. Add in all the NFL type security crap, no banners, no instruments, no flags, not a soccer friendly stadium.