Major League Soccer tours possible St. Paul stadium site

Mayor Coleman showed off CHS Field.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman showed off the new CHS Field to Major League Soccer president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott on August 11, 2015. Coleman is trying to woo the league to build a new soccer stadium in the Midway area.
Laura Yuen | MPR News

A top official with Major League Soccer says he isn't ready to commit to a new stadium in the city's Midway area but remains keenly interested in the site.

MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott arrived in St. Paul Tuesday to tour and discuss the site near Interstate 94 and Snelling Avenue with Mayor Chris Coleman.

But Abbott said he hasn't closed the door yet on Minneapolis.

"We're not here to try and play one group off the other," Abbott said. "We're gonna have to determine where the best site for the stadium [is] to be in conjunction with the team ownership. But the focus today is to look at this site."

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Abbott said he has not spoken to officials in Minneapolis since a July 1 deadline passed for that city to reach a stadium plan, including financing.

Coleman expressed an openness to the city's providing property tax breaks for the stadium project if the Legislature allows it.

"This is a challenging site that could use a catalytic event to help see some more dense development in the immediate area of the shopping center, but also surrounding that community," Coleman said. "So I think it's a good trade-off for what we know we can achieve with this type of facility."

Before Abbott visited the Midway site, Coleman took him to see the new Saints stadium, which he says has helped reinvigorate Lowertown.