The National Sports Center and the North American Soccer League (NASL) announced today an ownership restructuring of the NSC Minnesota Stars to continue the rich history and tradition of professional soccer in the area. The NSC Minnesota Stars will be owned by the NASL for the short-to-mid-term as the league looks for an appropriate ownership group which meets the new heightened standards for professional soccer in North America. Local media, fan groups and area sports leaders attended a press conference at Brit’s Pub in downtown Minneapolis for the announcement.
“The Twin Cities is a first-class soccer market with a rich history of supporting the professional game,” said Aaron Davidson, Chief Executive Officer of the NASL. “Minnesota’s remarkable support for the original NASL and the professional game since 1990 is virtually unmatched in this country. It’s also important strategically to be in a market which boasts the headquarters of the third-most Fortune 500 companies in the country. Continuing on 21 consecutive seasons of professional soccer in Minnesota allows us to help fulfill our vision and ambition for the NASL and our member teams.”
Djorn Buchholz returns to Minnesota soccer as the Chief Executive Officer of the NSC Minnesota Stars. Buchholz spent the 2010 season as CEO of the Austin Aztex of the USSF DII league where attendance was increased 20 percent over the 2009 season. Buchholz previously served as General Manager of the Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues First Division for six seasons. Buchholz stated, “This is a great day for soccer in the state of Minnesota. We have a strong foundation in place with this partnership to continue building on 21 years of consecutive professional soccer in the Twin Cities area.”
The NSC Minnesota Stars will retain Manny Lagos, whose family is a fixture in Minnesota soccer history, as Coach and Director of Soccer Operations. The team will continue to play its home matches this season at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. Lagos commented, “While the league and team names may have changed over the past 21 years, the reality is that investors and this community have supported professional soccer in Minnesota longer than any other market in the United States. As a Minnesotan, former US National Team player and coach of the Stars, I am proud of what we have accomplished and have never been more excited about the future of professional soccer in the area. The new NASL will take soccer to the next level and I am honored to continue to be part of building North American soccer locally, nationally and internationally.”
The NSC Minnesota Stars also announced ticket pricing for the 2011 season and stressed the importance of keeping professional soccer an affordable entertainment option. Four types of tickets are available:
• Pitch side seats alongside either bench are $315 for the season ($135 savings on game day prices)
• Reserved seats with chair backs are $210 for the season ($90 savings on game day prices)
• Adult general admission seats are $135 for the season ($75 savings on game day prices)
• Youth general admission seats for fans under 18 years old are $75 for the season ($45 savings on game day prices)
A special supporters’ season ticket is also available for $150 and includes a commemorative scarf. All season tickets include admission to all 14 regular season games and one exhibition game.
Season tickets are available today by calling (763) 792-7355 . Single tickets will be available for advance purchase upon finalization of the 2011 league schedule.