As we count down to a record-breaking crowd, we're taking a look back at the historic moments that helped to shape soccer in Minnesota. From the Kicks in NASL to your hometown Minnesota United, it's time to celebrate soccer past and present at TCF Bank Stadium on Oct. 21 when MNUFC breaks an attendance record that has stood for more than 40 years, ever since a crowd of 49,572 fans came to Metropolitan Stadium to watch the Minnesota Kicks beat the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 and win the NASL Conference Championship.
Our countdown starts with the Snow Opener, the first ever MLS match for Minnesota United as the club moved from the second division to the top division in American soccer. With 35,000+ fans in attendance, and snow falling on the pitch, MNUFC played in true Minnesotan style. The result didn't exactly go as planned, but a chorus of supporters singing amidst a winter wonderland made for an unforgettable experience.
The Snow Opener was the coldest MLS match ever played, measuring in at a sizzling 19 degrees. Despite that, the Loons managed to pack the stands with the largest Minnesota soccer crowd in more than 30 years. On the pitch, players struggled to move the ball, as 3+ inches of snow fell. Several periods throughout the match were delayed as groundkeepers frantically moved to clear the lines that had been obstructed by blizzard-like conditions. It was a hearty hello to MLS from the MNUFC supporters. If you were there for the #SnowOpener in 2017, you won’t soon forget it. And if you weren’t, well, here’s a taste of what you missed: