Mayor Chris Coleman pushes MLS on Saint Paul
Mayor invites MLS Deputy Commissioner to visit Saint Paul, tour Snelling and University
Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s office today announced the Mayor reached out yesterday to MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott, inviting him to visit Saint Paul, experience the city and tour a tract of land at Snelling and University that includes the former Bus Barn site.
“With the MLS deadline passing, there is a small window of opportunity to make sure Minnesota has a Major League Soccer team,” said Mayor Coleman. “The enthusiasm around the USA winning the Women's World Cup demonstrates that there is growing support for soccer. The Saint Paul site is the only viable path at this point. Not only would a stadium at this location take advantage of all modes of transportation, but it would substantially accelerate redevelopment in the area.”
The Metropolitan Council and Metro Transit, together with the City of Saint Paul and Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation, have been working since 2012 to facilitate the redevelopment of two properties, totaling 14.7 acres near Snelling and University Avenue in Saint Paul.
“The site is now easily accessible from the two downtowns by the Green Line and bus rapid transit, and the neighborhood is evolving in incredibly dynamic ways, allowing for the kind of density and transit-oriented development previously unimaginable,” said Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Kramer. “A soccer stadium would anchor a complete transformation of this site into one that includes retail, housing and green space.”
The Mayor has recently had two informal meetings with local team representatives, including Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire – who had expressed interest in developing the site back in 2013 for a mixed-use project that would include a soccer stadium. While city staff has performed its due diligence in preparation for the recent meetings, conversations have remained at a very high level and no specific deal has been discussed.
“Given the MLS deadline, I think we need to move expeditiously to get a project built on the Snelling and University site,” said Mayor Coleman. “Minnesota deserves a Major League Soccer franchise and I’m prepared to work to make that happen for Minnesota and Saint Paul.”