It sounds like funding for a new St. Paul Saints ballpark won't be part of this year's bonding bill in the Minnesota Legislature, but planning and design funding is part of the mix.
It sounds like funding for a new St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) ballpark won't be part of this year's bonding bill in the Minnesota Legislature, but planning and design funding is currently part of the mix.
The Saints and the city of St. Paul have proposed $25 million in state funding for a $35-million Lowertown ballpark. It's not a new request: the city has included a Saints ballpark in previous bonding requests. (Traditionally the Minnesota Legislature issues a bonding bill to fund capital projects in even-numbered years. The current session of the Minnesota Legislature will be considering a bonding bill in upcoming weeks.)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty didn't include a Saints project in his bonding proposal (indeed, he didn't include any local requests in his bonding proposal), but the House and the Senate are looking at $1-billion bonding levels. That won't be large enough to include Saints ballpark funding; instead, we're told both the House and Senate will be include planning money (at an amount yet to be specified) for the city in their proposals. It's not written in stone and could change.
There's also an outside chance some sort of Saints ballpark funding could be tacked on any proposals to fund a new Minnesota Vikings stadium with lottery games, something floated by Pawlenty earlier this week. We've heard some pet sports projects could be included as part of the horse trading that accompanies any major state funding project. St. Paul isn't the only Minnesota community that would like to upgrade its ballpark situation; Rochester, for instance, would probably welcome two or three million for a Mayo Field replacement, and historic Wade Stadium could surely use a facelift.
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