Dark Clouds: Embedded with Minnesota's misfit fans

How Minnesota United FC's diehard soccer fanatics became a force to be reckoned with

Then there’s the stadium problem. McGuire wants to grow attendance from an average 5,000 per game to something more like 10,000 to 15,000, and the Blaine location makes the uphill battle nearly impossible. Many fans, including Bruce McGuire, believe building a new stadium for the team is the only way to accrue consistently high attendance.

“They have to have their own facility if they’re gonna make this work,” says Bruce McGuire. “It’s been proven. Over the last 20 years of soccer in America, that’s the only way to make it work.”

Bill McGuire confirms there has been internal talk about the venue issue, but says it’s too early to seriously discuss the prospect of a new stadium.

Wes Burdine wears the symbol of the Red Loon, the Marxist sect of the Dark Clouds.
Mark Vancleave
Wes Burdine wears the symbol of the Red Loon, the Marxist sect of the Dark Clouds.
Fans chant and play music in support of Minnesota United.
Mark Vancleave
Fans chant and play music in support of Minnesota United.

“I don’t think that’s something we’re in a position to really talk about right now,” he says. “It’s obvious that we have to figure out the best venues that serve the needs of the fans, as well as what is needed for high-end professional soccer, and our players. So we’re testing various approaches to that.”

Whatever the future holds for Minnesota United, one thing is certain: The Dark Clouds will follow.

“DARK CLOUDS!” yells Oliver, and everyone in the Nomad finishes their drinks and lines up outside the bar. They march down Cedar Avenue, toward the Dome, wearing Minnesota United jerseys, Red Loons T-shirts, or vests they made at home. One fan carries a black flag with a skull and crossbones, another totes a Dark Clouds flag. They play trumpets, and scream so loud their voices crack.

Glory, glory Minnesota
Glory, glory Minnesota
Glory, glory Minnesota
The blues go marching on!

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