As expected, the St. Paul City Council today approved a $27-million funding package for a new Lowertown St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) ballpark, as both sides await word on a matching state grant.
The package calls for the city to pay $17 million toward the new ballpark project ($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 paid back with $625,000 in annual lease payments for 25 years, as well as $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 team’s current home, Midway Stadium, would be converted to a business park.
The vote was unanimous. Two citizens spoke out against the proposal, including Tom Goldstein, the former publisher of the defunct Elysian Field Quarterly.
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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