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Funding for new Saints ballpark fails to make initial cut

An initial bonding request from Gov. Tim Pawlenty doesn't include $25 million for a new St. Paul Saints ballpark — but the process is far from completed.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has released his $685-million bonding request for the 2010 legislative session, and it lacks proposed funding for a new St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) ballpark.

The Minnesota Legislature issues bonds every two years. The Saints and the City of St. Paul are proposing a 7,500-seat, $35-million ballpark in downtown St. Paul, replacing Midway Stadium as the home of the team. The city would find $10 million in funding, with the rest coming from the state. It is not necessarily a high priority for the city, however; the city must rank its bond requests, and the ballpark ended up #4 out of six requests.

The fact that Pawlenty didn't include the Saints ballpark in his bonding request means less than you may think. however. He and his staff did not include any local bonding requests in his proposed budget, and Legislative leaders have discussed a billion-dollar bonding round. So there will be plenty of chances for the Saints and the city to make their case before the State Legislature in the upcoming session.

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