Carl Tonn Field – Minneapolis City SC
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The Crows Fly North For Now
Minneapolis City SC entered its third season without a home pitch; its current venue at Augsburg University was in the midst of renovations that impacted the use of locker rooms and bathrooms that would not be able to meet NPSL minimum standards for stadiums.
Club co-founder Dan Hoedeman searched fervently for a new home for the Crows but ran into a lot of red tape and plenty of “no’s” from many who operated stadiums around the Twin Cities. A total of 40 individuals declined to host the club for the 2018 season before Osseo Senior High School officials granted permission to use Carl Tonn Field as a temporary home. It must have been karma since Tonn’s great-grandson Kevin Hoof plays for the club.
Although the venue is about 15 miles north of downtown, the club has not lost any of its swagger, they have been unbeaten on their new turf for the 2018 season. The support is still there by its fans, although not to the level Hoedeman saw at Augsburg last season, but with a conference title on the line during our review, the atmosphere was the beautiful sport in its purest form, free of a corporate feel and bureaucratic shenanigans.
Food & Beverage 3
The stadium offers two areas for food choices with a food truck near the entrance of the stadium and a concession stand inside the main plaza area. Yummy Tummy food truck sells sandwiches between $7 to $9 a la carte, but any of these can be upgraded to $12.50 and includes chips, slaw, cookie and a drink. The options include the black and blue burger, bacon cheeseburger, BLT sandwiches, quesadillas, and Rubens. The portions are pretty size-able and many in the stands have items from the truck.
The concession stands offer typical items including hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, chips, and soda. A $5 combo meal includes a hot dog, chips, and can of soda. Coca-Cola products are served at the stadium, but since this is a high school venue, there is no alcohol.
The Crows have a dedicated fan base that creates much of the atmosphere in the stands while the players do the rest on the pitch. The stadium serves home to the Osseo Senior High Schools football and soccer programs and the colors of black and orange are evident from the lines, center logo, and scoreboard. It is a 4,000 seat high school stadium and it’s the perfect size for this level of soccer.
A track circumnavigates the field, but fans are close enough to players from the main grandstand that their voices can be heard clearly on the pitch. The left side of the stands is where supporters group The Citizens make their presence felt during the match. They encourage all to scream, shout, sing, and even curse throughout the match. A lively bunch that enjoys its boys on the field and can be somewhat naughty at times.
A small concession stand made up of four tables sells quality team merchandise from jerseys, scarves, hats, and various t-shirts. Unfortunately, as the season progresses, larger sizes are not available at the stadium. The club does not have an official name, but it appears to have adopted the Crows moniker with its presence felt on jerseys, t-shirts, and banners in the stadium. The club has toyed with nicknames Grumpy Cats and Eradicators.
Osseo is a small town located 15 miles northwest of Minneapolis and is a bit too far to get there by mass transit or by bike. It is the suburbs, but the small downtown offers more than enough places to eat before the game.
Lynde’s is a true gem that offers a buffet after 5 pm every Saturday. The broasted chicken is simply amazing and so are the ribs that fall off the bone. For dessert, an apple cobbler with a dense crust that needs to be cut with a knife rounds out your meal. Olympia Cafe and Gyros, Red’s Savoy Pizza, and Nola Bistro & Lounge are other great options for dinner.
The Twin Cities are not too far away and there is more than enough to do in town during a visit. The highlights include the sculpture gardens, Minnesota State Museum, Mall of America further south in Bloomington, and enough craft brewers to satisfy your palate.
The Crows supporters group dubbed “The Citizens” have been known to take it to another level during matches. The fourth-division club has a solid core group of members who enjoy their time at the game and will heckle the opposing side along with the referees. They hang banners, wave flags, bang drums, and take popular songs from Kylie Minogue and Rick Astley and turn it into songs that favor their side.
The families at games sit further down the stands, but they too enjoy a good soccer game. There are many in team merchandise watching every minute of the action on the field. The only ones who might not be so into the game are the younger kids passing the soccer ball underneath the grandstand.
The stadium is easy to navigate around during games since the crowds are light. The school has set up a few porta potties for the crowds. However, you will need a car to get to the game due to its suburban location.
Return on Investment 3
The price of a ticket for an adult is $10 and the price of food is reasonable. The parking is free and the merchandise is along the lines of the soccer clubs at this level.
The Citizens are a lively group that makes the game fun to watch with chanting and screaming throughout the game. They add a lot of character and that is what you like to see at any soccer match.
The team merchandise is of good quality and comfort. There are various logos and designs for its shirts that include the colors of neon pink and light blue. The highlight is the lumberjack black and hot pink away jersey that has become popular with both fans and players. Hoedeman explained the story about the pink on the jerseys.
“There are not a lot of teams that use pink in their uniforms and how great would it be if a team wearing pink came to your stadium and beat you. I ran it by the players and they all agreed to use the color pink in our jerseys.”
A final point for the kids selling pop and soda from a pushcart in the stands, a nice little way to enjoy a snack or drink from your seats. Also a reminder that this is soccer at a much different level than the bigs boys down the street.
Minneapolis City SC provides soccer at the purest form in the Twin Cities. The club has developed a following via off-beat social media promotions, pink colored jerseys, and a dedicated supporters group. The club looks to be back in Minneapolis by next season and perhaps one day down the road, the Crows will have their own home pitch that is as eccentric as its pink and black checkered uniforms.
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Courtyard by Marriott Minneapolis Maple Grove/Arbor Lakes
11871 Fountains Way
Maple Grove, MN 55369
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