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'It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience': St. Paul businesses gear up for MLS All-Star Week crowds

MLS All-Star Week is expected to bring crowds of people to the Twin Cities for three days of fan enthusiasm and musical performances.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Standing in front of a mural of soccer star, Megan Rapinoe, St. Paul business owner Wes Burdine gears up for this week's festivities.

"I'm the owner of Black Hart of Saint Paul," he says, as people from across the country are expected to flock to Allianz Field for the MLS All-Star Game.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience because we are so new in MLS and the stadium is new, and us getting to host it."

Over the next three days, MLS All-Star Week is expected to bring crowds of people to the Twin Cities for three days of fan excitement, musical performances, charity events and matchups — leading up to Wednesday's game.

It's a big relief for businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

"It was tough shutting down for months on end," Burdine says. 

"We have been around for four years, right in the heart of St. Paul," said Marc Anderson, with Dual Citizen Brewing.

Dual Citizen Brewing is located at 725 Raymond Ave, right off University Avenue.  Anderson says being so close to Allianz Field during MLS All Star Week is an opportunity for both the business and fans to join in on the festivities, right in their backyard.

"We have a partnership with True North Elite, which is the big MLS fan group, they're really excited and we are really excited for this week."

In a statement, B. Kyle, the President and CEO of the St. Paul Area Chamber told KARE 11:

“We have an amazing week of soccer and community service ahead. Even beyond soccer, the week will bring tremendous resources to the community in ways that real people concretely benefit. The community aspect of All Star week is actually as big as, or even bigger than, the game itself! Ultimately, events like these are good for business, community, and the sport of soccer. The entire community is part of it, beyond Minnesota United and Allianz Field. It is an opportunity to showcase MN United’s amazing community support, and broadcast the team and our region around the world.”

These business owners say they're looking forward to hosting more games in the near future.

"We have been able to host events like the U.S. Men's National team this winter, and now with the MLS All-Star game coming to town, it's a whole week of people coming to the Twin Cities and checking out what we have to offer," said Burdine.

For more information on events and the MLS All-Star game, visit the link here

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