Allianz Field is getting a facelift.
Specifically, it's the playing surface that's getting replaced after Minnesota United CEO Chris Wright explained that "an underground drainage problem where rain and sprinkler water was pooling underneath the grass and affecting root growth."
A three-week break between the Loons' final regular-season home match of 2019 and the next scheduled event -- a college football game on Oct. 19 between St. Thomas and St. John’s -- allowed for ample time for a sod replacement.
Wright indicated the drainage issue has already been remedied.
“The reason that we have determined to bring all of this forward is really the fact that we have the potential of a home playoff game that weekend,” Wright said, via ProSoccerUSA's Kevin Eliason. “We could have played Tommies-Johnnies on the [current field]. That is not the issue. The reason we are doing this is because we want the very best surface that we possibly can have for our team in our inaugural season in Allianz Field, in our inaugural run in the MLS Cup playoffs.”
The grass at @allianzfield is halfway gone already, less than 18 hours after #MNUFC played their final regular season #MLS match last night. Should have rest of the grass removed and new grass installed in the next 24-48 hours. pic.twitter.com/am9rIGZMrD— Jamie Watson (@jamiewatson77) September 30, 2019
The Loons enter Decision Day, presented by AT&T, as the No. 2 seed in the West which would see Allianz Field host a Round One playoff match. They'll need to finish between No. 2 and No. 4 in order to host a postseason match in that opening weekend of playoff matches. FiveThirtyEight gives MNUFC a 94 percent likelihood to clinch a home playoff game.
Heath Farms, a Wisconsin farm which has no relation to head coach Adrian Heath, will provide the new sod.
Allianz Field opened its doors in April 2019 as the newest state-of-the-art stadium in MLS. The Loons have racked up an impressive 10W-1L-6D regular season record in their inaugural year at the $250-million, privately funded stadium.