Minnesota United announced Wednesday that its home opener will be played Sunday against the New York Red Bulls as scheduled, at 6 p.m. at Allianz Field.
The team said in a statement that it will continue to monitor the COVID-19 virus closely. It said it made the decision after it partnered with Major League Soccer and local health officials, adhered to the Centers for Disease Control guidance and consulted with other local sports organizations.
The team also said it will expand sanitation measures such as additional deep cleanings and disinfecting high “touchpoint” surfaces before, during and after games. Additional hygiene and safety training for stadium staff will be provided. Hand sanitizer stations will be added throughout the stadium as will restroom signage that encourages proper hand-washing techniques.
It’s also advising supporters to adhere to preventive measures advised by the CDC such as: avoid close contact with people who are sick; don’t touch your face with unwashed hands; wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
The Loons will follow MLS, the NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball by banning all but players and “essential employees” from locker rooms and clubhouses both before and after all games and practices. The Loons will bring coach Adrian Heath and key players to a news conference area while other players will be available to the media outside their locker room.
MLS’ Seattle Sounders on Wednesday heeded Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s call to postpone all large public gatherings by doing so with its March 21 home game against FC Dallas. The game will be rescheduled for a later date.
The league’s Philadelphia Union on Wednesday and Columbus Crew SC on Tuesday announced its Saturday game are still scheduled to be played in front of supporters with additional safety precautions taken.