St. Paul Saints Reach Lease Agreement With City To Operate Downtown Ballpark
The city of St. Paul and the independent American Association St. Paul Saints baseball team "finalized a lease for the downtown ballpark that assigns most of the operating and maintenance expenses to the Saints, while giving the city a cut of the team’s annual proceeds and a percentage of the sale price should it be sold before 2020," according to Kevin Duchschere of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The City Council on Wednesday will be asked to ratify the "development and use agreements." Team owners Marvin Goldklang, actor Bill Murray and Mike Veeck also "need to sign off on the lease." The city will "own the ballpark, 82 percent of which will be paid for with public money from the state and the city, while the minor-league Saints will run the facility year-round and use it for 70 games a season." The Saints’ $11M share of the ballpark’s construction "consists of $8.5 million in regular rent payments to the city and $2.5 million in cash." But the team will "pay the lion’s share of the ballpark’s operating and maintenance costs, estimated" at $5M a year. The team will "capture most revenue from naming rights, advertising, broadcast rights and concessions." But the lease "spells out some revenue-sharing arrangements that would give St. Paul a piece of the Saints’ success" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/18).