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St. Paul expected to approve Saints ballpark plan Wednesday

New Saints ballpark

The St. Paul City Council is expected to approve a funding plan for a new Lowertown St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) ballpark despite half of the money for the facility still up in the air.

The cost of the project is $54 million. The financing plan calls for St. Paul to issue $8.5 million in bonds, repaid over 25 years by the city with $625,000 annually from property-tax proceeds, as well as tapping into other sources of one-time revenues. The Saints will put up $10 million ($8.5 million in bonds, $1.5 million in cash). Together, the Saints and the city will be up $27 million of the project cost, which also includes brownfield site prep.

The issue: whether the state will come through with the remaining $27 million. The Saints ballpark is one of many projects submitted to the state for funding via a $47.5 million administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. All in all, 90 municipalities requested some $288 million in public money. DEED staff is expected to have recommendations by the end of August, with Gov. Mark Dayton — who has backed both projects in the past — making the final decision. The Saints proposal is not the only ballpark project submitted: Duluth is requesting $4 million for Wade Stadium upgrades.

If funding is approved, the ballpark could open for the 2014 season.

Image courtesy of the St. Paul Saints.

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