Minnesota United today announced the Eye of the Loon program to honor veterans and service members through a partnership with Xcel Energy. At the Loons’ new home, Allianz Field, there is a single red seat that is reserved for an active or retired service member at every home game.
“We are proud of the ways we have been able to bring our amazing logo to life inside Allianz Field,” said MNUFC CEO Chris Wright. ‘The ‘Eye of the Loon’ program is a perfect example of how we are able to utilize our logo design and attach it to our club’s core values. We are honored to partner with Xcel Energy on the ‘Eye of the Loon’ program. Their commitment to their employees and our community and — most importantly — members of the military made this partnership an easy decision and one that fits within who we are as a club and what Allianz Field and our logo represent.”
One of our first Eye of the Loon honorees is Major Shannon Gregory who completed his 25-year military career in 2018. Gregory enlisted in 1992 as a Marine and trained as a pilot, eventually retiring after serving as commander and instructor with the Minnesota National Guard. He flew Blackhawk helicopters for 15 years and commanded a 10-helicopter unit, deploying to countries across the globe. He also spent time training Navy Corpsman and served with Marines in combat zones. His son followed him into military service, graduating from the US Naval Academy in 2017 and is currently stationed in Florida as a Navy pilot.
“Xcel Energy’s partnership with Minnesota United is an opportunity for us to thank our veterans and recognize them for their service at every home game at Allianz Field,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “One out of every 10 Xcel Energy employees is a veteran, and we support our service members, veterans and their families. They’ve all made tremendous sacrifices and we’re grateful for their service.”
“I’m honored to be recognized and appreciate that others who served will be featured at every home game in this beautiful, new stadium, said Shannon Gregory, program manager, enterprise resilience, Xcel Energy. “My experience as a soldier, commander and instructor translate well to the energy industry where, just like in military service, day-to-day decisions can have a direct impact on people’s lives. I encourage my fellow veterans to consider the energy industry as an excellent career option.”
An Xcel Energy employee who is an active military members or veteran will be selected for each home game at Allianz Field this season. They will receive four tickets to the game — including the red Eye of the Loon seat — and will be recognized in-stadium with a PA announcement and video board message.