Soccer interest surge

Minnesota United’s anticipated move to Major League Soccer as soon as 2017 has provided near-term momentum as the team plays its 2015 North American Soccer League season home opener against San Antonio on Saturday night.

Opening night sellout? United anticipates a sellout crowd Saturday, which would be a record for a game against a regular-season league opponent. The team drew attendance of 9,064 last July when the draw was Swansea City, an English Premier League team.

Season ticket goal surpassed: More than 3,500 season tickets have been sold, topping the club’s end-of-season goals made before the MLS announcement. United now hopes to reach 5,000 season tickets by midseason.

Bigger sponsor dollars: United’s MLS-to-be standing has boosted its marketing position with potential sponsors, allowing it to seek five- and six-figure deals and be more selective. A big question to resolve is determining a sponsor for the front of the team’s jersey.