Your guide to Minnesota United FC's home opener
Here's all you need to know before Saturday night's game.
Only six months ago, it seemed unlikely that Minnesota's second-division soccer team would even see a 2013 season. Yet here we are, one day away from the home opener, with a new team owner, new name, and new logo.
Given all that's happened since last fall, when Minnesota -- then called the Stars -- took second place in the National American Soccer League championship, we feel a refresher is in order. Here's a quick recap before Saturday night's game.
Minnesota United FC is our second-division soccer team, and will play the San Antonio Scorpions. Minnesota beat the Scorpions in the NASL semi finals last year, but ultimately lost the championship to the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
The Metrodome. Minnesota traditionally hosts matches at the NSC Stadium in Blaine, but scheduled the first five home games this year at the Dome, likely to draw a larger crowd.
Tickets still available for adults run from $12 to $18. Youth tickets go for $6. You can purchase them here.
Former UnitedHealth CEO Bill McGuire bought the team last fall.
The match starts at 7 p.m.
How do I get there?
Minnesota United has a partnership with Metro Transit, so if you're going to the game, you can ride the bus or light rail free. Forewarning: You have to print out a pass in advance. See more info here.
Who's the new owner?
Bill McGuire bought the team last fall. McGuire is former CEO of UnitedHealth Group, and was named one of the top-10 highest-paid executives of the millennium by MSN Money. He left UnitedHealth in 2006 during a scandal over problems with how the company issued stock options.
Before McGuire stepped in, the league owned the Stars, but was trying to sell it to a local owner. That looked particularly unlikely after lawmakers passed the Vikings stadium bill, which gave Zygi Wilf a monopoly on bringing a Major League Soccer team to the new stadium, making the second-division team less attractive to prospective buyers. It looked like the team would fold before McGuire stepped in.
What happens to Minnesota United if Wilf brings an MLS team to Minnesota?
We asked McGuire that at a press conference last fall, and this is what he told us: "I look at this as an independent team...There is nothing more than that right now."
What happened to the Stars?
McGuire announced the name change about a month ago, along with the new logo. Here's the explanation from the team:
The Minnesota United FC name is a tribute to the team's vision and a three-decade long legacy of soccer in Minnesota. McGuire sees the team as a community asset around which many different groups - from ethnic communities to soccer organizations - across Minnesota can unite in fandom. Close coordination with these groups will occur moving forward. The focal point of the new team logo is a strong depiction of a bird, which will adorn the team uniforms and merchandise.
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