Scoreboards and interior LED lighting inside Allianz Field were put to a stress test Wednesday night, and they passed.
For 12 hours at the new Major League Soccer stadium that will be home to Minnesota United, the large video board on the south end and ribbon boards between the first and second decks were in strobe mode, flashing nonstop blue, green, purple and red.
The Technicolor show that could have rivaled any dance-floor extravaganza emanated from the stadium off Interstate 94 and Snelling Avenue in St. Paul's Midway area. Flashes from lights that changed color every two seconds reflected off the misty overcast skies, spreading hues that could be seen for miles.
"Could see the @allianzfield lights from NE Mpls tonight. Had to drive by to check 'em out. Pretty cool," said Joe Alton in a tweet.
Bright lights began bathing the open-air stadium around 7 p.m. Wednesday and continued to flash well into Thursday's morning commute. The team conducted the test to see how long the boards installed by Daktronics could operate, said team spokesman Eric Durkee.
"We were sort of stress testing," he said. "Last night was an opportunity to test it while it was dark." It passed, and "we're happy."
While beautiful to some, the intense lights were less pleasing to others. "Whoever decided to keep Allianz Field flashing all night can go to hell," wrote Twitter user @RaisingOneBrow.
Testing is common before new stadiums open. Minnesota United announced Thursday that the inaugural game at Allianz Field will be April 13. Durkee warned that although Wednesday's pulsing rainbow was just a one-time test, there could be times when scoreboards and lights are needed well into the night. He pointed to a weather-delayed game the team played last season in Dallas that didn't end until 1:30 a.m.
The team did not need a city permit to conduct the test because it was run inside the stadium, Durkee said.
The team has not settled on a policy for illuminating the 19,000-seat stadium once the season starts, but that likely will happen only after home wins, on holidays and special occasions such as Pride night games.
As for the all-night light show, "This will not happen again," Durkee said. "We want to be good neighbors."