The City of Saint Paul, Saint Paul Port Authority, State of Minnesota, and St. Paul Saints are working to turn a brownfield into a ballpark.
The Lowertown Ballpark will be the official home of the St. Paul Saints and will also host youth and amateur baseball teams from across the region. The ballpark will be about more than just baseball – the facility will host more than 100 non-baseball events annually. The approximately 7,000-seat ballpark will be owned by the City of Saint Paul and operated by the St. Paul Saints.
The Lowertown Ballpark will create the next chapter in Saint Paul’s storied history of amateur baseball. The city has been home to a regional ballpark since 1930, beginning with Lexington Park, the original Midway Stadium in the 1950s, and the current Midway Stadium, which was built in 1982.
A true regional economic asset, the Lowertown Ballpark will help Minnesota attract a variety of regional and national events, from college baseball tournaments to world-class concerts. It will build on major public and private investments in downtown Saint Paul to help further revitalize the Lowertown neighborhood. The project will create almost 500 full- and part-time jobs, bring 400,000 visitors to downtown Saint Paul, and spur millions of dollars in economic impact annually.
The ballpark will be completed in spring 2015.
The Saint Paul Port Authority purchased the remaining section of the Diamond Products/Gillette property in July 2012, which was critical to securing city and state funding for the project. After the project is complete, the City of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Port Authority will exchange ownership of the current Midway Stadium site and the Diamond Products/Gillette property. The port authority plans to market the 13-acre site as a part of its ongoing efforts to redevelop industrial property in the area around Midway Stadium. This will help the ballpark project expand the city’s tax base and attract high-paying, quality jobs to Saint Paul.
The total cost of the project is $63 million. The City of Saint Paul will provide $19 million and a $5 million internal loan, the St. Paul Saints will provide $11 million, and the State of Minnesota has provided a $25 million grant for the construction, $2 million in grants for the environmental cleanup work, and a $1 million loan for the project. The City of Saint Paul has received two grants for environmental remediation efforts that will help repay the internal loan – a $748,100 Livable Communities Tax Base Revitalization Account (TBRA) grant from the Metropolitan Council and a $747,900 Environmental Response Fund grant from Ramsey County. The city is pursuing funds from other entities, including grants related to environmental cleanup, to repay the remaining $3.5 million of the internal loan.