Statement following 2012 Legislative session

“I am thrilled the State Legislature recognizes the importance of two strong core cities and has included debt relief for the Saint Paul RiverCentre in the Vikings stadium bill. These funds will go a long way to help Saint Paul further economic development and support critical infrastructure projects.

“The bonding bill includes $50 million for economic development projects awarded by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. I am hopeful the Lowertown Ballpark will be one of the first projects funded with this money.

“The ballpark has been, and remains, the top bonding priority for the City of Saint Paul. It will create over 500 jobs, will bring 400,000 people to Lowertown every year, will serve as a hub for amateur sports, and will have an estimated economic impact of $10 million per year. We will continue to work closely with the governor’s office as this process moves forward. The bases are loaded, it’s the bottom of the ninth, and our star hitter is at the plate.

“I commend the Saint Paul delegation for their hard work on behalf of the residents of our city. In a few short years, I look forward to throwing out the first pitch with them at a new ballpark in downtown Saint Paul.”