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Allianz Field Preps For What Could Be Coldest Soccer Game In US History

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- Minnesotans are getting good at hosting sporting events in extreme cold.

On New Year's Day, the coldest game in NHL history took place during the Winter Classic at Target Field.

Now, Allianz Field in St. Paul will play host Wednesday to a World Cup qualifying match between the U.S. Men's National Team and Honduras.

There's no roof on Allianz Field, and wind chills are expected to be minus 10 degrees.

Justin Borrell, Allianz Field's general manager, says the first order of business was removing the snow from the field. During the game, about 17 miles of underground tubing will keep the ground warm.

"The soil itself will be around 50 or 60 degrees, so the feet of the players will be noticeably warmer than probably the rest of their body," Borrell said.

Allianz Field Cold Soccer Game Prep
(credit: CBS)

Fans in the stands will get hand warmers, but otherwise have to rely on their scarves, blankets and however many layers it takes.

"Minnesotans are a little bit stubborn when it comes to admitting they're cold," Borrell said. "It's something they enjoy and like to push the boundaries of."

First-aid teams will be roaming the concourses as a precaution. Wes Burdine, owner of the LGBTQ+ soccer bar The Black Hart of St. Paul, will be at the game. He expects a packed house at the bar.

"We all know what the last couple years have been like in the service industry, so getting a chance to bring people together and really celebrate before and after the game, it's gonna be good. It'll be nice just to let off some steam," Burdine said.

Fans coming to the game will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test from the last 72 hours.

There are still some tickets available. Allianz Field is expecting a sell-out crowd of more than 19,000.

A win Wednesday would help the U.S.'s chances of playing in the World Cup this year in Qatar.


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