Updated 3:20 p.m.
Agribusiness giant CHS Inc. has purchased the naming rights for St. Paul's new Lowertown ballpark, which will be named CHS Field, city officials said Monday morning during a press event at the construction site.
The Inver Grove Heights-based company has 75,000 farmer members and about 1,100 co-ops that own stock in the company. It's better known for Cenex fuel and other brands like Marie's salad dressing and Dean's dips. The stadium name could boost the public's awareness of the company and all its businesses, said CHS President and CEO Carl Casale.
"It'll certainly provide that recognition, just because of the proximity to 52 and 94, and the other events that we'll have here in conjunction with the Saints," Casale said. "You know, we'll be able to build some name recognition for CHS. People may not know exactly what we do, but at least they'll have heard of the company and build that recognition over time."
CHS was formed by the combination of Cenex and Harvest States in 1998. CHS is a Fortune 100 company, employs about 10,000, with annual revenues of about $45 billion. The company is owned by about 75,000 farmers and 1,100 member cooperatives that represent another 300,000 farmers and ranchers.
"It's our expectation that our owners will be able to enjoy this venue when the come into town," Casale said. The company does get some limited rights to the facility for community activities, like United Way campaign kickoffs and the like, but doesn't have any marketing deals or other benefits.
The newly corporate brand on the stadium,, though, won't change the team on the field, said St. Paul Saints team president and co-owner Mike Veeck. The games will still be instilled with the same fun and silliness as always he said.
“Rarely do the stars align so that two companies have the same belief in culture, in family and in fun,” Veeck said.
The $63 million stadium is under construction in downtown St. Paul, across the street from the St. Paul farmer's market, and a few blocks from the city's revitalized Union Depot. It is scheduled to open for the Saints in about nine months.
Officials declined to say how much CHS paid for the stadium naming rights.