Fred Melo over at the Pioneer Press has been doing a little digging -- just about literally -- on the Saints stadium projects over in St. Paul.
Turns out there may be some trouble underground, both out at Midway stadium, and at the location of the new stadium in Lowertown.
Melo reports today that the Lowertown ballpark site may have soil contamination problems, unforseen when the project was bid. Turns out a long-ago coal gasification plant at the site may have left more pollution than anyone anticipated. Melo reports the project had budgeted $5 million for cleanup, but testing shows the need may exceed the money set aside in the $54 million project.
"We don't really know a whole lot yet," city spokesman Joe Campbell told the Pioneer Press.
The news comes just days after Melo reported another unforseen circumstance: the ground under the Saints' existing home, Midway Stadium (at right) may also need soil remediation before it can be redeveloped once the Saints move downtown. The culprit out there: horse manure. Turns out the State Fair used the area as a dump way back, including the disposal of animal waste from the exposition.
The St. Paul Port Authority's Louis Jambois told Melo that "horse manure doesn't turn into good dirt. It turns into methane and some solids." Jambois estimate the cost of demolition, cleanup and "geotechnical correction" of the Fair waste will run $3 to $5 million on the old Midway stadium site.