SAINT PAUL – Continuing a surge of bipartisan support, Mayor Coleman applauded the inclusion of the Saint Paul Regional Ballpark in today’s bonding bill from Governor Dayton.
“With Governor Dayton’s tremendous support, Saint Paul is one step closer to building a community facility that will bring visitors from across the state together in celebration of America’s favorite pastime, baseball. When completed, the Saint Paul Regional Ballpark will not only host the Saint Paul Saints and high school tournament games, it will generate $10 million in economic growth for our region annually.
“This project also represents an immediate opportunity to transform the downtown site from a brownfield to a ballpark while continuing the exciting momentum taking place in Lowertown. Visitors will have access to the Central Corridor light rail line, thriving nightlife, a growing music scene and top-notch bars and restaurants, turning their trip to the ballpark into a world-class experience.
“In a time when it is crucial for cities to invest in our communities in order to create jobs and economic growth, we are excited to see such an incredible level of business and community support for this project. With the Governor’s commitment to provide $20 million for the ballpark, we now look forward to working with the Legislature for the final funding necessary to bring this project home,” Mayor Chris Coleman said.
In addition to the $20 million in funding from today’s bonding bill, both the City and the Saint Paul Saints have committed to investing $10 million each in the regional ballpark. A smart investment in Saint Paul’s future, the regional ballpark is expected to create 225 construction jobs as well as another 151 full-time and seasonal jobs. It will also further the vitality of downtown Saint Paul by generating $10 million annually in economic growth, spurred by over 400,000 visitors each year.
With a history of broad bipartisan support, the local business community and resident associations have recently voiced their support for the project as well.
"A regional ballpark would create new jobs, generate economic development opportunities, and add immeasurably to the excitement and vitality building in the East Metro," said Matt Kramer, president of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce.
“The Saints financial commitment to the facility, in partnership with other private and public investment through State bonding dollars shows great promise for economic development not only in Lowertown but all of Saint Paul and the east metro area,” said Matt Anfang, president of Greater Saint Paul Building Owners and Managers Association.
Community supporters include Capitol River Council and the Lowertown Entertainment District.
Since 1903, Saint Paul has been Minnesota’s center of amateur baseball, providing the locale for countless tournaments for the Minnesota State High School League, American Legion Baseball and other youth-based organizations – all of whom back this proposal. Amateur sports, such as the state high school championships, would occupy the ballpark on at least 130 days. The Saints would play 50 games.