ST PAUL, Minn — Editor's note: The video above originally aired on Sept. 20, 2021.
The Red Loons and Dark Clouds are crazy about the Minnesota United Football Club (MNUFC) professional soccer team, but a disagreement over COVID-19 vaccination policies could keep the ardent supporters away from Allianz Field.
Both fan groups released statements Tuesday saying they recently held a meeting with Minnesota United’s CEO, COO and Field Manager, asking MNUFC to require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for entry to Allianz Field. Leaders of the fan groups say the Loons remain opposed to a vaccination or test policy, citing concern for ticket sales and fear of alienating those who oppose the COVID vaccine.
"We love supporting our Loons, and remember clearly how much we missed bringing that support in person," reads a message sent to members by Dark Cloud leaders. "But we can’t ignore the growing COVID cases in our area, and it’s long past time for MNUFC to prioritize the health and safety of its workers, its dedicated volunteers, and its supporters."
KARE 11 has reached out to MNUFC for the club's reaction to the proposed boycott, and will share its response when one becomes available.
In an effort to convince MNUFC officials to change their minds, the Red Loons and Dark Clouds say they are immediately taking the following steps:
- Our capos will not return to the stands this season until MNUFC adopts a test/vaccine mandate.
- Members who want to skip home matches until MNUFC adopts a test/vaccine mandate are encouraged to do so and organize watch parties instead.
- The groups are also encouraging anyone with season tickets who can afford not to resell their tickets to do so. An empty stadium will make a very strong point.
- Both the Red Loons and Dark Clouds are encouraging supporters to contact their ticket rep or the team’s front office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and voice your support for a COVID-19 vaccine or test mandate.
Organizers of the boycott say mass emails from vaccine or test mandate supporters were instrumental in the Timbers Army’s successful push to require a test/vaccine check at Providence Park.
The planned boycott was announced on the same day Major League Soccer and Minnesota United will host the league's All-Star Game on Aug. 10, 2022. The match will be the pinnacle of a week-long series of events across the Twin Cities.