SAINT PAUL, Minn. (Wednesday, February 24, 2016) — Minnesota United FC’s William McGuire and Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman today unveiled renderings for the new home of Major League Soccer (MLS) in Minnesota. The 20,000 seat stadium will boast the latest in amenities and technology while also being sustainably designed to minimize environmental impact and energy usage.
“This world-class venue will not only offer our fans an iconic professional soccer experience, but also provide our team with the necessary tools to establish themselves as a top-tier professional soccer club,” said McGuire, principal owner of Minnesota United FC. “We want this facility to be the cornerstone of professional soccer throughout our state and the North. We expect this facility to serve as a catalyst for additional development that inspires greater livability in this area. We are proud to say that the fulfillment all of these goals appears to be on track.”
Construction on the new facility is expected to be complete in time for the start of the 2018 MLS season. Minnesota United will finance the estimated $150 million stadium, with it becoming publicly owned once construction is complete. Minnesota United was awarded an MLS franchise in 2015 in a highly competitive process that put Minnesota ahead of other major markets in the U.S.
“Today is a great day for the Snelling-Midway neighborhood, the city and the state,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “We have worked together with Minnesota United on a design that will be an important catalyst for redevelopment of this entire area – creating jobs, ensuring vibrant spaces and bringing professional soccer to its new home in Minnesota.”
World-class stadium features
Some of the features that will set this world-class facility apart include:
- Elegant “flow” design concept with LED lighting throughout
- Three hospitality clubs
- A variety of suites, club seats, loge boxes and general seating totaling to approximately a 20,00 seat capacity
- Complete 360-degree canopy over the bowl to protect fans and players from the elements – reduces light and noise from spilling into the neighborhood, while creating an intimate and intimidating home pitch atmosphere
- Field heating system similar to TCF Bank Stadium and Target Field
- Distributed Antenna System for enhanced cell phone coverage
- High-Density WiFi for mobile device coverage
- 1,600 Square foot retail store
- Year round uses located at street level to provide non-gameday activity to the building
- Street level exterior materials of native Minnesota limestone, complementary burnished block, and glass
- Intimate seating bowl – furthest distance from spectator to the pitch is 125 feet
- Sustainably designed to minimize environmental impact and energy usage
- Translucent PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) building skin to protect fans from the elements
Larger vision for the entire 34.5 acre site
RK Midway, the owner of the 25-acres adjacent to the former bus barn property owned by the Metropolitan Council, unveiled redevelopment plans for the surrounding area that take advantage of the stadium. Plans include an urban mixed-use village that will include a multitude of use, including retail, office, residential, hospitality, entertainment (cinema, health club, bowling, dance, etc.) and food and beverage.
“We have waited years for the right time to redevelop this area into a more vibrant and livable community,” said Richard Birdoff, owner of RK Midway. “Today we are finally able to share our vision for the future and are excited to see it moving forward.”
Next steps for the development
The City of Saint Paul will continue the community input process on the stadium site plan and master site plan into spring, through the work of the Community Advisory Committee and with likely two more public open house events. The draft stadium site and master site plans will likely be presented to the Planning Commission in late spring, and will shortly thereafter go to the City Council for final review and approval. The vast majority of the stadium will be constructed on the former bus barn site, which has not been on the tax rolls for over fifty (50) years.
The City of St. Paul will work to secure state legislative support for three priorities to ensure the stadium project: continuation of the property tax exemption for the stadium site, sales tax exemption on construction materials used to build the stadium and on-sale license for alcoholic beverages at the stadium.