Rotarian Ken Hiller, wearing a snappy “Scarves Up” scarf, explained that fans of the Minnesota United Football Club (the Loons) use the scarves as visual support for the team at the beginning of each game. Ken gave a brief history of the club and introduced Sean Sittnick, vice president of ticket sales who gave us a fast-paced presentation. MNUFC is a professional soccer club based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. When it began in 2017, the Loons were the 22nd team playing in the Western Conference of major league soccer. Home games are played at TCF stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Next year the team moves into its own stadium in St. Paul — Allianz Field in the Midway neighborhood.
Sittnick shared about the rapid growth of interest and support for the new team. The number of season-ticket holders has risen from 250 to 14,500, and the last home game this season is expected to draw 50,000. Shawn shared the vision that the team will create a following that connects us with the global world of soccer/football through its international set of players. The Football Club also wants to become integrated within our communities with youth players, and be a catalyst for business growth around the new stadium. Allianz Field is a $255 million stadium, which joins our football and baseball venues as a source of Twin Cities pride. In response to our questions, we learned about connections between the Loons and local young talent.