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Minnesota United christening Allianz Field with first game on April 13

Allianz Field in St. Paul was lit in blue late Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, following Minnesota United’s last game at its temporary home, TCF Bank Stadium. John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL -- After two seasons renting space in a college football stadium, Minnesota United’s much-anticipated debut game at tailor-made soccer-specific Allianz Field will be April 13 against New York City FC. United’s $250 million stadium in St. Paul will debut at 4 p.m. that Saturday and will air on ESPN.

“We cannot wait to share Allianz Field with everyone in Minnesota,” United CEO Chris Wright said in a statement. “We know it will be at the pinnacle of soccer stadiums in North America and will put Midway, St. Paul and Minnesota on the global soccer map. Our home opener will be a truly historic moment for the club, the fans and the community.”

United anticipates all tickets in the 19,400-seat venue “will be sold before the sales open to the general public,” the club said. United has capped season tickets at 14,500, with a growing waiting list.

Major League Soccer announced home openers for all 24 clubs on Thursday, with the Loons kicking off the 2019 season against the new-look Vancouver Whitecaps on March 2 at B.C. Place.

This means United will have about five or six games in the road to start its third season in MLS, depending on how the FIFA break impacts the MLS schedule in late March. The Loons’ first home game will not conflict with the Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 6-8.

United started both the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the road before hosting games at TCF Bank Stadium, its temporary venue while Allianz Field was being built. The Loons lost 5-1 to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park to start the 2017 season, Minnesota’s first in MLS. Then United lost 3-2 to San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium in last year’s first game, meaning this March will be the Loons’ third start on the West Coast.