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The Saint Paul Saints have proposed a new ballpark to replace their aging facility in Energy Park, Midway Stadium. This was proposed little more than a year ago, but the grassroots efforts to secure the needed funding still continue.

A rundown so far,









The images are courtesy of the Ballpark Fans & Friends.
http://www.ballparkfansandfriends.org/

The renders above do not show the final actual design. That still is yet to be determined. The Saints have partnered with Ryan Companies, a major developer in Minnesota. Julie Snow, is the architect of record for the above images.

The cost is estimated at $45 million. Seating is expected to be around 7,500. But that could change due to regulations and zoning restrictions due to the proximity of the downtown St. Paul airport. Proposed new rules could limit it to only 4,000 (according to an article in the local Highland Villager).

The Saints ownership is offering to pay for $10 million. St. Paul would kick in roughly another $10 million for site cleanup and land acquisition. The remaining $25 million has been requested through the Minnesota legislature through a massive state wide bonding bill. The next likely chance to secure the bonding funds would come in 2012.
 

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Not really.

The only real update is that there might be a new organization created responsible for overseeing all of the stadiums and arenas (Target Field, Target Center, Metrodome/Vikings Stadium, Xcel Energy Center, and future St Paul Saints park). I think they need to raise somewhere in $1.3 billion range. That money would be used to build a downtown Vikings stadium, renovated Target Center, the St Paul Saints park, and absorb all remaining debt from the Xcel Energy Center.

From my understanding, from the proposal about 1/3 of that total would be from contributions from the Vikings, Wolves, and Saints (most coming from the Vikings obviously), about 1/3 would be raised from expanded gambling in the state either through slot machines at the two horse tracks in town or a downtown luxury casino, and the final 1/3 would be raised from tax payers.

I think this proposal is the most likely to happen out of anything we have seen (at the very least a modified version of it).

I believe University of Minnesota stadiums and facilities would remain in the University's control as it should be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gov. Dayton included $20 million for the project in his bonding bill earlier this year. But very unlikely to get past the Republican legislature.

It does have wide neighborhood support, so I think it will get built someday. When? Probably not for a couple more years at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Saints ballpark design's early reviews: It doesn't fit Lowertown

"The preliminary design plans for the new 7,000-seat ballpark in St. Paul's Lowertown are coming under fire for lacking a certain downtown feel.

City council member Dave Thune says the short, squat design and steely walls for the St. Paul Saints seem too suburban, and they're not in keeping with the big brick aesthetic of the adjacent Lowertown Historic District..."



 

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^I think the cheap, midcentury 1950s-style design is what's making it look "suburban". But I'm annoyed by the complaints that it doesn't fit with the neighborhood because it isn't some brick-clad, faux-historic monstrosity.

The perfect design should have been something simple and postmodern, more along the lines of the original mock-up we saw a couple of years ago:



 

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What strikes me most about Lowertown is that many of the buildings there are 100+ years old. This is one of the only places in Twin Cities that truly preserves Minnesota's architectural heritage. In recent years, Lowertown was also able to re-invent itself as a modern cultural destination. To continue this tradition of resilience, any structure built today must be designed with the foresight for potential adaptive uses. What will happen to the building if the Saints no longer draw crowds and decide to relocate to another location? I feel that the designers failed to address that important aspect in their proposals. Hopefully not being so hung up on the style will allow us to enjoy the substance of a well-designed building for years to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
the design doesn't really inspire, but there is nothing particularly offensive about it either.
There's a bit of disappointment from some in the community about it's design. But there's a reason this is only costing ~$60 million and the Vikings Stadium is $1 billion.

I'll take it over Bill Hosko's vision of keeping part of the old Gillette building. I wish though they had released a picture of it looking south on Broadway at 6th Street. We really don't get to see much of the exterior. But as Julie Snow keeps saying, the design isn't really finished yet.

Downtown St. Paul needs a reason for people to go there. This ballpark will help a lot in that regard.
 

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It doesn't bother me its modern, but I think it's a bit stiff and lacks connection to the rest of Lowertown. The original rendering that Jenifat refers too is more on the mark with its grander entrance that acknowledges the neighborhood better and invites people in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Concrete in the ground at the new Lowertown Ballpark

"Construction crews started pouring concrete into the ground in Lowertown St. Paul this afternoon — sometimes right on top of the footings for the old Diamond Products building that once stood at the site of the new Saints stadium..."

"...It’s going to go fast: masonry in May, precast concrete after that and structural steel in July. Crews will be putting in the field turf in September..."





 
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