ST. PAUL, Minnesota (WCCO) – Minnesotans are getting good at hosting sporting events in extreme cold.
On New Year’s Day, the coldest game in NHL history took place at the Winter Classic at Target Field.
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Now, Allianz Field in St. Paul will host a World Cup qualifier between the United States men’s national team and Honduras on Wednesday.
There is no roof over Allianz Field and the wind chill is expected to be minus 10 degrees.
Justin Borrell, general manager of Allianz Field, explains that the first thing to do was to clear the field of snow. During play, approximately 17 miles of underground tubing will keep the ground warm.
“The floor itself will be around 50 or 60 degrees, so the players’ feet will be noticeably warmer than probably the rest of their body,” Borrell said.
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Fans in the stands will have hand warmers, but otherwise will have to rely on their scarves, blankets and the number of layers needed.
“People in Minnesota are a little stubborn when it comes to admitting they’re cold,” Borrell said. “It’s something they appreciate and like to push the limits.”
First aid teams will roam the halls as a precaution. Wes Burdine, owner of LGBTQ+ soccer bar The Black Hart of St. Paul, will be at the game. He expects a full house at the bar.
“We all know what the last two years have been like in the service industry, so having the chance to bring people together and really celebrate before and after the game is going to be good. It will be good just to let off steam” , Burdine said.
Fans coming to the game will need to present proof of vaccination or a negative test from the last 72 hours.
There are still a few tickets available. Allianz Field is expecting a full house of over 19,000 people.
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A victory on Wednesday would boost the United States’ chances of playing the World Cup this year in Qatar.