By Gail Kalinoski
Touting its Minnesota roots, Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, has secured the naming rights to the new $200 million Major League Soccer stadium being built in St. Paul, Minn., for the Minnesota United FC soccer team.
Under the multi-year naming rights sponsorship agreement, the stadium will be known as Allianz Field. The price paid for the rights was not disclosed. The facility in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2019 MLS season. It is the first Allianz-sponsored stadium in North America and the eighth in eight countries on four continents, including Allianz Munich, home to two soccer teams and the global headquarters of the insurance giant. Other Allianz-sponsored stadiums are in Sydney; London; Vienna; Sao Paulo; Nice, France, and Turin, Italy.
“As a global company with a long tradition of stadium sponsorship and strong connection to soccer around the world, Allianz is proud to join Minnesota United FC in bringing this facility to soccer fans in our great state,” Walter White, Allianz Life President & CEO, said in a prepared statement.
In a company blog post, the company said it’s “as much a part of this state as the loon in the Minnesota United emblem.” The post noted Allianz Life began in Minnesota as North American Life and Casualty Co. in 1896, adding a second Minnesota company, LifeUSA, part of Allianz Life as well.
The 346,000-square-foot stadium will have 19,400 seating capacity for its first year with a potential expansion to 24,474, along with four hospitality clubs and 22 suites. It will have a translucent PTFE laminate mesh skin and features LED lighting technology similar to Allianz Arena in Munich, which allows the stadium to change colors for different events. The stadium, which will have a natural grass, heated playing surface, will be 78 feet tall at its tallest point and 660 feet along its longest dimension.
The new stadium is designed by Kansas City-based Populous, a world leader in stadium architecture, and will be built by Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction, a leading firm in the United States. The club’s ownership group is financing the estimated $200 million stadium and will give it to the city of St. Paul once construction is completed, according to the team.
It’s not the only new major league sports stadium being built in the region. The NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and partner Twin Cities Orthopedics are building the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center and TCO Stadium, a new practice facility and team headquarters in Eagan, Minn., on the site of the former Northwest Airlines headquarters. The 88,000-square-foot performance center and 6,000-person stadium will also be available to high school and amateur teams and community events once it is completed in 2018. They are part of Viking Lakes, a planned 20-acre, 3.3 million-square-foot master-planned community being developed by Vikings owners Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf. In late June, Newmark Knight Frank was tapped to lead the global marketing launch of the project.