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Chris Murphy, Published August 06 2013

Minnesota state soccer tourneys could see temporary shift to outdoors

FARGO – Football scheduling is not the only thing on the Minnesota State High School League’s mind with the construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Things may not only get chilly for football fans with the Prep Bowl moving from the Metrodome to TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 and 2015, but girls and boys soccer fans as well.

Associate director Jody Redman said Tuesday at the MSHSL board meeting St. Cloud State University’s Husky Stadium was one potential site explored for boys and girls state semifinals and finals in 2014 and 2015.

Moorhead girls soccer coach Nicole Wiesner certainly wouldn’t mind it.

“It would be closer for us, which is nicer, and I’m a St. Cloud State grad, so I think it would be cool because it’s my alma mater,” Wiesner said. “It’s a really beautiful facility. For us, it’s a little closer and it’s more central, which makes more sense.”

State quarterfinal games are already played in St. Cloud. An obvious obstacle to moving the games to a smaller venue is parking, but the board will be exploring all possibilities.

For the Spuds, whether it’s a four-hour drive to the Metrodome or a three-hour drive to Husky Stadium, the site hardly seems neutral.

“For us, it’s not going to affect us either way because we are so far out of state,” Wiesner said. “Neutral spot used to be St. Cloud, but is that really neutral? It’s not really in the center. It’s still closer to the Cities.”

Although fans may not agree, having the game outside is the more appealing part for Wiesner.

“You never know what the weather is going to be like in November, but it would definitely make more sense,” Wiesner said. “We play our whole season outside and then we move inside for the tournament, which we’ve never played on.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548