Allianz Field and the Meaning of World-Class Soccer
April 5, 2019 / Bruce Miller
With attendance on the rise and team values booming, Major League Soccer is better positioned in the sports world than it’s ever been. The league is becoming increasingly competitive with some of its international counterparts, for both players and fan interest. Opened in April, Allianz Field places Minnesota United at the forefront of this charge. It rises to the level of world-class and, in some ways, re-writes the meaning of the phrase itself thanks to four key design features:
An Innovative Stadium Skin
A dynamic and beautiful exterior envelope is a critical element of a world-class stadium. Using a laminated PTFE mesh and 1,700 hand-positioned LED lights, the exterior of Allianz Field appears reflective and translucent by day. At night, its flowing, glowing qualities resemble water in motion and evoke the energy of the Northern Lights. The wrapper not only looks beautiful but amplifies sound, making for a more exciting atmosphere for fans.
A 360-degree Canopy
Allianz Field’s exterior is complemented by a 360-degree roof canopy that protects fans from the Minnesota elements while bottling up the energy of a match. It also reduces light and noise from spilling into the neighborhood. The canopy is also a sustainability feature, channeling rainwater into a central stormwater system that irrigates surrounding landscaping.
Safe-standing Supporters Section
We recently helped bring safe-standing to the MLS in a big way with the opening of Orlando City Stadium (pictured above) back in 2017. The term is used to describe an area of the bowl designed for fans to safely watch the game while standing as opposed to being seated. The stand is built as steep as is safely possible. In the case of Allianz Field, this creates a wall of intimidation for opposing teams and energizes the entire bowl.
Intimate Seating Bowl
Seating bowls have only inched closer and closer to the pitch since MLS teams started moving from playing in football stadiums to smaller soccer-specific venues. Allianz Field continues that trend and boasts the league’s first elevated pitch. The result is better sightlines and less space separating players and fans. Allianz Field’s furthest seat is only 125 feet from the field, putting fans right on top of the action.
Through these four qualities and more, Allianz Field will help fuel Major League Soccer’s popularity and growth in a new era of American soccer. In order to compete with clubs across the pond, MNUFC needed a stadium fit for a king. Now all that’s left is for the Loons to take the throne.
*Main photo courtesy of Minnesota United