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Official Review by Jared Townsend, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Head out to Les Barnard Field in South Minneapolis to catch a game by Minneapolis City SC, the area's new semi-pro team which debuted in 2016, and you'll have a game day experience far removed from anything pro sports or even high school events are capable of.
Despite the team's new status, games have been relatively well attended, as a diverse group of fans scatter about the bleachers on both sides of the field - a multipurpose surface that obviously hosts soccer matches, football games, and track events.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
In terms of food, the matches are regularly accompanied by at least one local food truck. While food trucks can be fantastic, if you're a picky eater, you may be out of luck. During a June 2016 visit, the local food truck offered Gyros.
Les Barnard Field is, without a doubt, old and situated adjacent to South High School - yet the grounds are well maintained. It's also a relatively spacious area and as the semi-pro match goes on, plenty of kids run around on the grass surrounding the field, having their own mini soccer matches as their parents or older siblings sit in the bleachers, paying attention to the game.
While the event has more of a high school vibe, the atmosphere could probably be best described as, semi-pro. The matches feel laid back. People aren't necessarily on the edges of their seats like you see at high school, college, or pro games, but rather, they are there to kick back and cheer on the players on the field - most of whom the game's attendees probably know personally.
Les Barnard Field is situated in your typical South Minneapolis neighborhood. There is lots of street parking and despite it being an older part of town, it feels like a relatively safe and close knit community.
There are the familiar shouts from fans on the bleachers offering words of encouragement to individual players - yet unlike pro events, the shouts are devoid of criticism or frustration - something that makes the match quite charming and positive in its own regard.
Les Barnard Field is situated across from a high school. If you type "Les Barnard Field" into Google Maps, your Android device won't be able to navigate you to it. And if go to the field's Facebook page and try to use the navigate option, it'll bring you to the nearby Powderhorn Park. That's not to say that's the field's fault - yet it's a bit frustrating. Still, with proper directions, it's easily accessible and doesn't require venturing too far off I-94 to find.
Minneapolis City SC tickets cost $7 for adults, and just $4 for children. The experience is relatively enjoyable and certainly doesn't put too much strain on your wallet. After all, you know you're supporting a good cause (see below).
The cool thing about attending matches at Les Barnard Field, at least for Minneapolis City SC games, is that you can buy your tickets online in advance. Cooler, however, is that Minneapolis City SC operates as a non-profit with its stated goal being to "give every kid the chance to play high-level, organized soccer in a positive, healthy environment from the first team on down," according to the team's website. Meanwhile, Minneapolis City SC is also member-owned and takes an active role in helping improve the local community.
Overall, Les Barnard Field is a great place to kick back and catch a game. It's spacious, there are plenty of seating options, and best of all, the team that plays there operates with the positive goal of helping the local community.
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920 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55407
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2901 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407