The Angle

Minnesota United and Dark Clouds Working on Gameday Rules at TCF

by on 15 November 2016

Recently, Minnesota United released a new website complete with a TCF Bank Stadium gameday guide for fans. At least for the time being, supporters can expect a different gameday experience in the University of Minnesota’s football stadium. These changes are to be expected as visitors in another organization’s stadium and are subject to change in the coming months before the season kicks off.

Perhaps most notably, “noisemaking devices and sticks or flag poles” are on the prohibited list in the A-Z Guide. These guidelines are a strikingly similar to the prohibited list for Gophers football gameday, which suggests they are standard for events at TCF Bank Stadium. The Dark Clouds and other supporters groups are hoping that means they can be adapted for MN United.

“Flags, drums, and choreographed displays of support are all big parts of what makes supporters sections at soccer games fun,” says Jim Oliver, Dark Clouds president. “We know that TCF’s current policies and practices aren’t conducive to letting that stuff happen, but we’re set up to be accountable and responsive enough to get things figured out.”

According to mnufc.com, “Banners, flags, and signs (collectively, “Banners”) are permitted and encouraged within the stadium provided they comply with the following requirements.” These requirements include:

What these rules means for two poles or larger tifo displays remains to be determined.

A spokesman for the team responded to queries about these rules, saying, “We know how important our supporters groups are on gamedays. Every player, coach, and fan will tell you that the culture, atmosphere, and energy created from these groups on gamedays are an essential part of what makes the soccer experience so unique and enthralling. We are currently working with the University of Minnesota and Major League Soccer to determine how we can make this experience enjoyable and acceptable for everyone at TCF Bank Stadium.”

“I have every reason to believe the team is going to do everything in their power to make sure the gameday atmosphere is something the Dark Clouds and other MNUFC fans will love,” Oliver says.

Additionally, TCF Bank will use the same bag policy for United matches that is used for all events at the stadium. Attendees must use a clear tote bag or small clutches/purses for any items they bring into the stadium.

In stark contrast to the casual nature of Nessie, “Patrons may not leave and re-enter TCF Bank Stadium.” Fans sitting on the bleachers in the stadium should note that you cannot bring in your own seat backs, per the prohibited item list.

As it stands, Dark Clouds could be looking at a very different gameday experience at TCF, but Oliver is hopeful that the Dark Clouds can get a deal done with the team.

“I have every reason to believe the team is going to do everything in their power to make sure the gameday atmosphere is something the Dark Clouds and other MNUFC fans will love,” Oliver says. “We’ve been working closely for years with Justin [Borrell, game day operations manager] and Alyssa [Anderson, community relations manager]. Those folks definitely have our trust, and we’ve done everything we can to keep theirs. I’m confident we’ll get TCF figured out.”

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  • JeffreyB69

    Since the second level of seats are not being used, could the tifos and larger banners be displayed there? Something to ask.