If Minnesota United FC’s season home opener on March 12 were happening in the team’s planned soccer-specific stadium, it would already be a sellout.
As it is at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus, United is confident the club’s first home match as a Major League Soccer franchise will exceed 30,000 tickets sold, with sales likely to ramp up in the next two weeks leading up to the match.
Between season-ticket sales and single-match sales, United has sold out the lower bowl of the 50,805-capacity stadium for its 4 p.m. match against Atlanta United FC. The club has opened up tickets in the upper deck to meet demand, a team spokesman confirmed Friday.
The Loons open their season Friday night at Portland Timbers.
United is also closing in on 11,000 season tickets sold, with a team-imposed limit of 11,842 (tied to state’s lake total). The team couldn’t start selling season tickets until officially joining MLS on Aug. 19 and didn’t begin selling single-match tickets until Feb. 9.
Atlanta, also a first-year expansion side, announced Friday it had sold more than 30,000 season tickets, but it has had almost double the time to start the process.
To ramp up ticket sales in the next two weeks, United will unveil 10 digital billboards — eight in Minneapolis, two in St. Paul — this week. The billboards will feature players alongside fans, simply stating their names or their positions/jobs.
With this increased advertising, United is projecting to sell more than 30,000 tickets for the home opener.
“It’s not very often you can say you were there on the first day,” said United coach Adrian Heath, recalling the first home opener for his former club Orlando City SC that drew 62,510. “The atmosphere is different than any other American sport.”