$18.4 million in public money slated for soccer stadium

Bill McGuire unveils plans for soccer stadium.
Bill McGuire, former CEO of United Health and owner of the Minnesota United minor league soccer team, unveils plans for a new 20,000 seat stadium for his team in St. Paul's Midway neighborhood on Wednesday.
Tim Nelson | MPR News

The city of St. Paul is putting a price tag on the public improvements that Minnesota United wants around its new $150 million stadium in the Midway district.

Documents headed for the St. Paul City Council lay out the $18.4 million in costs, as well as building and use agreements between Minnesota's soon-to-be Major League Soccer team and its likely host city. Minnesota United unveiled the design of the stadium on Wednesday.

The city and the St. Paul Port Authority will pay the bills. The port authority is expected to pick up $1.5 million in cleanup costs, and the city will pay for about $17 million in other expenses. The biggest chunk of them will be for sanitary and storm water sewer upgrades for the site — about $4.3 million.

"I really think it's a reasonable public investment on the infrastructure that's appropriate for us to fund," said Amy Brendmoen, city council member and head of the city's Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the city agency that will actually fund the deal. "It will leverage us an extraordinarily beautiful stadium that looks like it's probably worth $150 million or more on the private side."

The team is paying all the costs to build the stadium, and will turn it over to city ownership when complete. It is expected to sit in part on Metro Transit land, site of a former bus barn, which the city has leased.

The development and use agreements headed to the council also offer some other detail into the project:

• The city and the team are expecting to ink a 50-year deal, an extraordinarily long term for stadium contract. The Vikings have a 30-year deal for their new home.

• Minnesota United will have to sign an MLS expansion agreement by the end of May.

• The soccer team will have the right to sell seat licenses and "charter seats/charter memberships" to fans.

• The team will retain the revenue from naming rights in and around the stadium

• The team will negotiate with Metro Transit to upgrade and rename the Snelling Avenue stop on the Green Line light rail line -- after the team or stadium name, like the Target Field and US Bank stadium stops.

• Construction will have the same 32 percent minority and 6 percent women workforce goals the Viking stadium project required.

The development deal to build the stadium runs 56 pages. The deal to operate the stadium and play soccer games runs 81 pages. You can find them here:

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