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Duel of Suitors Yields an M.L.S. Franchise for Minnesota

William McGuire, too, feared that the Vikings group would land the franchise.

“There was always a chance the league would look at that situation and say, ‘This is what we want to do,’” said William McGuire, who is widely known as Bill. “We didn’t think it was the right thing to do. Obviously, we had our own bias. Our view was, the best thing for soccer is to have soccer-specific stadiums, if it could be pulled off, rather than putting the sport into a stadium that’s fundamentally built for something else.”

In the end, M.L.S. officials preferred McGuire’s vision of an intimate 20,000-seat outdoor field on natural grass over the soaring 66,000-seat U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Vikings. Construction of the soccer stadium, midway between Minneapolis and St. Paul, should begin this fall, McGuire said. The club will play on artificial turf at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium next season and most of 2018.

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The league will instead add a version of Minnesota United F.C., from the North American Soccer League.

Credit
Andy Clayton-King/Getty Images

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