Oct 5, 2021 - Sports

What the MLS All-Star Game could mean for Minnesota

The Allianz field soccer pitch with players on green grass
Allianz Field could host the MLS All-Star Game next summer. Photo: Jean Pieri / MediaNews Group / St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images

The Major League Soccer commissioner is in town Tuesday for a major announcement, and many expect he'll name Allianz Field in St. Paul as the location of the annual MLS All-Star Game next summer.

Why it matters: The festivities would be a shot in the arm for metro hotels and restaurants that depend on tourism, but have seen few visitors in the past 19 months.

  • It could also help grow the soccer fan base here in the Twin Cities. In July, outgoing MNUFC CEO Chris Wright applauded events like the All-Star Game as "opportunities to grow the club."

The intrigue: The Pioneer Press first reported in May that the Loons were in the running for next year's All-Star Game.

  • Wright revived those rumors this summer, when he said he expected the team to host in 2022 or 2023.

What to expect: This year's game in Los Angeles pit the best players of MLS against the best of Mexico's Liga MX.

  • The event featured three days of festivities leading up to the match, including a concert headlined by Big Boi and DJ Kaytranada. There was also a skills competition and a "Beats, Cleats and Eats" party.
  • Of note: Target has been the title sponsor of the game for several years.

Economic impact: Prior to Orlando hosting the 2019 game, officials in the city estimated All-Star festivities would generate more than $4.7 million in economic impact and 6,670 hotel room nights, according to the Orlando Business Journal.

  • That's not exactly a Super Bowl or a Final Four, which brought in an estimated $370 million and $142 million, respectively.
  • Yes, but: Take these economic estimates with a grain of a salt. They're often disputed by economists.

Between the lines: The Loons would be the third club to host the All-Star Game after building a new stadium just for soccer, the Pioneer Press notes.

What to watch: St. Paul and Minneapolis' mayors are taking part in a 1pm press conference, which might shed light on where some of the festivities will happen.

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