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The inaugural season for the Minnesota United FC is underway and for now home field is TCF Bank Stadium. But that will soon change as construction on a new stadium—just across Interstate 94 from the Concordia University, St. Paul campus—is expected to be completed next year.
Two graduates of Concordia’s sports management program are on board with the Minnesota United for its debut as a Major League Soccer expansion franchise.
Matt Rubbelke (M.A. ’14), an account executive with the club, says he has “an awesome face-to-face job reaching out to passionate soccer fans.” Arranging season ticket packages, group outings and company gatherings allows him to take all he learned earning his master’s degree at Concordia and apply it to front-office work within one of the biggest sport leagues in the nation.
Alex Eernisse (’16), a new business development representative for Minnesota United, agrees that working for an expansion franchise is exciting. “Just being able to see the behind-the-scenes action at the ground level is unbelievable and extremely rewarding,” he says.
While Eernisse was an undergraduate at Concordia, he completed internships with the Minnesota Vikings as a marketing intern in the VIP hospitality tent during training camp and as a sales intern based in Florida for the nationwide Hurricane Junior Golf Tour.
As Eernisse neared graduation, one of his Concordia professors recommended he apply to the National Sales Center in Blaine, Minn., where the MLS runs a highly selective sales training program. He was accepted and performed well in the program, which led to his job with Minnesota United.
Both CSP grads are looking forward to the new stadium, and Rubbelke is already working to connect the many colleges in the neighborhood, including Concordia, with ticketing opportunities. “We have student ticket packages that work around their schedules, and they’re flying off the shelves right now,” says Rubbelke.