St. Paul, Independent Baseball Team Reach Deal To Bridge Funding Gap For Ballpark
The city of St. Paul "cleared two major hurdles" on Thursday in its effort to build a $63M downtown ballpark, laying out a plan to close a $8.8M funding gap and agreeing with the independent American Association St. Paul Saints on operation costs and sharing revenues, according to Kevin Duchschere of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The project is "scheduled to be finished in time for opening day of the Saints’ 2015 season." The City Council on Wednesday will be asked to approve $2M in city funding and a $6M loan" that it hopes to repay with environmental grants from state and regional sources." Officials said that next month they expect to "finalize a preliminary development and use agreement under which the Saints assume responsibility for operations and everyday maintenance at the ballpark." The agreement includes a "revenue sharing arrangement that will give St. Paul a share in the Saints’ net ballpark proceeds and what the team would make should it be sold within seven years" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/19). The Saints have agreed "in principle" to increase their $10M stake by $1M and "cover ballpark operations and day-to-day maintenance costs, which can reach into the millions of dollars" (ST. PAUL PIONEER-PRESS, 7/18).