Plan will place high school football teams at Allianz Field annually

The football teams from two St. Paul, Washington and Harding will play a boys and girls double match on October 7 at Allianz Field. The game comes with a name – Copa São Paulo – and the promise that it will be played annually.

The Copa São Paulo will feature teams from different schools in São Paulo each year and will be played at Allianz Field.

This year, the men’s match will start at 17:30, the women’s at 19:30. Gates will open at 4:30 pm, and entry is free. Tickets must be claimed through SeatGeek, an online ticketing service.

The event stems from the Mayor’s Cup, an annual two-match round since 2016 between teams from St. Paul Como Park and St. Paul Humboldt. The 2021 game was played at Allianz Field, the first time it was not played on one of the schools’ fields.

“The original idea was to extend our support to the Mayor’s Cup, but the high school athletics directors wanted all St. Paul public school football programs to have access to the experience of playing in a world-class stadium in your own backyard, proving once again, the best ideas come from listening and collaborating,” said Katie Mattis Sarver, Community Development Officer at Bell Bank, sponsor of the Saint Paul Cup. “There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of high school sports, and we’re grateful that collective groups come together to create lifetime memories for players and fans alike.”

Minnesota United CEO Shari Ballard said inviting high school teams to play at Minnesota United’s home of the Major Soccer League is well aligned with the team’s mission to “promote football, the game of the world, and through it, inspire and unite the community”.

“Last year, the Mayor’s Cup was an incredible event for our community,” Ballard said. “The student athletes who participated and the thousands of fans who applauded them created an unforgettable night of football.”

The Washington and Harding teams received their invites by surprise when two team members, the goalie and a St. Paul Fred Emmings and defender and Maplewood native Devin Padelford, appeared at a game on Tuesday. The moment was filmed.

“This game will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the student athletes, coaches and families of Washington Technology Magnet School and Harding High School,” said the Superintendent of St. Paul, Joe Gothard. “Participating in athletics opens many doors for our young people, and we know this opportunity will be one these hardworking students will never forget.”

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