Experiential preview of under-construction stadium inspired excitement, exceeded sales goals
MNUFC ALLIANZ FIELD EXPERIENCE CENTER | Minnesota United Football Club, Golden Valley, MN, US
completed February 2018
size 2161 sf
photos Troy Thies
Contributing Shop! member:
cmnd+m design, int. signage/graphics, fixtures, visual elements
When the Allianz Field Experience Center began tours in February 2018, stadium construction was still over a year from completion. Without a physical stadium, the Minnesota United Football Club (MNUFC) needed to generate buzz (and seat sales) among some 4,000 to 5,000 season ticket holders, suite owners, prospective sponsors, local media/press, and the Twin Cities soccer community. Working within a challenging triangular office space, designers brought to life the excitement crowds would feel in the new stadium – from the moment guests stepped into (virtual) cheering, screaming crowds at the entryway through ticket purchase. New ticket-holders even signed a banner that would eventually fly in the completed stadium.
When the key fob activated the door switch at the beginning of a tour, audio and video of cheering MNUFC fans immediately immersed guests in the tribal energy of the soccer club’s fan experience. (Allianz field was engineered to maximize crowd noise and intensity.) A bold display of the club’s mission statement and core values, and an inside scoop on symbolism within the club’s crest encouraged guests to self-select into the tight community of local soccer fans.
The experiential destination celebrated the history, culture, and future of MNUFC with a deep dive into the details of the brand story. An official game ball was placed proudly on a pedestal. Subtle shifts in carpeting texture gave a nod to the shape of a soccer field, created using standard carpet tiles cut to shape and laid in varying directions. A micro-scale illuminated “Allianz Field” dimensional sign incorporated the unique Teflon-impregnated PTFE material that would eventually wrap the new stadium, previewing its integrated illumination effects. Throughout the construction phase, a flat-screen monitor displayed a live and up-to-the-minute view of construction progress. And instead of a traditional architectural model, a hologram message from Club CEO Chris Wright, interactive maps laying out transportation options, and multiple video files brought the stadium to 3D life. A physical row of available seat types allowed prospective ticket-buyers to test comfort levels before choosing a section and selecting seats in the “board room.” In the board room, another video screen showed what the view would look like from the chosen seats.
With seat selections finalized, visitors signed a giant MNUFC flag while Oasis’ “Wonderwall” (proximity-triggered audio) played overhead, evoking a sense of what purchasers would experience cheering on the Loons in their new home. A photo op area with changeable printed backdrop also included a display of scarves that guests could wrap around themselves for a traditional MUFC “scarves-up” moment.
To accommodate tours of eight to 10 people every 20 minutes without groups running into each other, designers created visual or auditory barriers between key areas. Tour leaders could peek ahead to determine any overlap issues and, if needed, invite visitors to explore the current area a little longer. The experience center not only exceeded sales goals but was spotlighted multiple times by the Association of Luxury Suite Directors throughout the year.