The owner of the St. Paul Saints says he's hopeful that the minor league baseball franchise is heading for a new stadium of its own.
The team is asking the state for half the cost of a new $50 million home in St. Paul's Lowertown neighborhood, just east of the Farmer's Market.
Team spokesman Aron Kahn said the Saints' current home, Midway Stadium, hosts more than 150 amateur games for teams around the state, including high school tournaments, Legion ball and Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games.
"We can't think of a better facility, a better organization, a better business that would take that spot," Kahn said. "It's a polluted area, a brown field. It should be a ball field."
Kahn said it would do for the east side the Lowertown area what the west side of downtown benefited from the Xcel Center.
Team owner Mike Veeck said he's getting an enthusiastic reception for his team at the Capitol.
"It seems like the ball yard has gained some momentum," Veeck said. "People are very receptive. It's bipartisan, which is really nice."
Veeck said their proposal is mentioned in four or five different bills, but has not been grouped with other stadium proposals or issues.
The 7,500-seat stadium was originally listed as one of the biggest ticket items in Gov. Mark Dayton's off-year bonding bill. Republicans rejected that idea.
Since then, the stadium has been in a bill sponsored by Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester. House bonding committee chair Larry Howes has also spoken in favor of the idea.