FAQs

Lowertown Ballpark project

How much will the ballpark cost and how is it being funded?

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 Metropolitan Council awarded a $748,100 Livable Communities Tax Base Revitalization Account (TBRA) grant to the City of Saint Paul for the Lowertown Ballpark for environmental remediation efforts.  The city is pursuing funds from other entities, including grants related to environmental cleanup, to repay the remaining $4.2 million of the internal loan.

Who will own and operate the ballpark?

The Lowertown Ballpark will be owned by the City of Saint Paul, managed by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, and operated by the St. Paul Saints.

How does the project impact the community?

The Lowertown Ballpark will build on major public and private investments in downtown Saint Paul to continue to help revitalize the Lowertown neighborhood.  The project will create almost 500 full- and part-time jobs, bring 400,000 visitors to downtown Saint Paul each year, and help attract an estimated $10 million in economic impact annually.  After construction is complete, the Saint Paul Port Authority will redevelop the Midway Stadium site as industrial property that will expand the city’s tax base and attract more high-paying, quality jobs to Saint Paul.

What will happen to Midway Stadium?

After construction of the Lowertown Ballpark is complete, the Saint Paul Port Authority will redevelop and market the Midway Stadium site to potential commercial industrial users.  The 13-acre property is located in an industrial area and has a highly sought-after railroad access.  Because industrial-zoned property is taxed at a rate that is double that of residential- and commercial-zoned property, the redeveloped Midway Stadium site will expand the city’s tax base and attract high-paying, quality jobs to the city.

What will happen to the dog park?

The Lowertown Dog Park is being relocated east of Broadway Street between Sixth and Seventh streets during the construction of the Lowertown Ballpark.  (A map of the relocated dog park can be found here.)  The move is expected to take place on September 13 and last through the spring of 2015.  Dog owners can also visit the seven-acre, off-leash High Bridge Dog Park (59 Randolph Avenue) or several on-leash parks in downtown, including Mears and Wacouta parks.  A new Lowertown Dog Park is being incorporated in the ballpark design.

How does the ballpark connect to the Central Corridor Green Line light rail and other transit opportunities?

The Lowertown Ballpark will be located three blocks from the Union Depot stop on the Central Corridor Green Line light rail, which will be operational in June.  The new ballpark will also have access to several bus lines and connect to biking and pedestrian trails.

Can I ride my bike to the ballpark?

Yes, the ballpark will be connected to the Bruce Vento Trail.  This trail connects to the Gateway State Trail, which goes to Stillwater.  Additionally, the Sam Morgan Regional Trail, which travels along the Mississippi River, will be located near the ballpark.  Nice Ride stations will also be located near the ballpark.

When will the ballpark open?

The ballpark is scheduled to open in spring 2015.

How can I find out more information?

You can find up-to-date information about the project on our blog.  You can also sign up to receive e-mails about the project here.

Lowertown Ballpark design

Who is designing and building the Lowertown Ballpark?

Minneapolis-based developer and contractor Ryan Companies is providing design and building services for the Lowertown Ballpark.  Ryan’s project team includes Minneapolis-based Snow Kreilich Architects, AECOM, and several other subcontractors.

Why is the ballpark being built at the Diamond Products/Gillette site?

Although developers have explored ways to reuse the Diamond Products/Gillette site for a number of years, a financially feasible plan has not emerged due to the site and building’s size, environmental issues, and unique topography.  The ballpark creates an opportunity to clean the soil and build a multi-use, year-round facility that will fully utilize the site, create new connections into downtown, and be compatible with the historic Lowertown neighborhood.

Several other cities have completed similar projects, building minor league ballparks on vacant properties within the city.  These ballparks have been a key part of urban revitalization efforts because they have transformed underutilized properties into places that attract visitors as well as commercial and residential development.

I’ve heard that the site is contaminated. Will the site be cleaned?

Past industrial uses of the Diamond Products/Gillette site have left the property functionally obsolete and polluted.  As a part of the project, the site will be cleared and undergo soil remediation to make it ready for the Lowertown Ballpark.

What will the ballpark look like?

The Lowertown Ballpark project team is finalizing the design of the ballpark.  The new ballpark incorporates elements of Lowertown’s historic architecture – blackened steel, timber, and load-bearing masonry – in a setting that has a more innovative approach to become a new connection for the eastern edge of downtown Saint Paul.  The playing field and entire seating bowl will be located below street level, reducing the overall visual impact of the ballpark on the neighborhood while enhancing entry plaza connections and accessibility.  The designs were created with input and feedback from the Lowertown Ballpark Design and Construction Committee (LBDCC).  The design development phase is now complete, with final construction documents expected in the spring.  Renderings are available here.

Lowertown Ballpark construction

How much of an impact will there be during construction?

As construction begins, the City of Saint Paul and Ryan Companies will work closely with the Lowertown Community and the entire city to share information and minimize the impact of construction.  Construction will only affect the area immediately surrounding the site.

Where can I find updates about nearby road closures?

You can find up-to-date information about the construction process and road closures related to this project on our blog.  You can also sign up to receive e-mails about the project here.  Additionally, the City of Saint Paul’s Public Works Department has a robust list of road closures throughout the city here.

How will construction affect the Art Crawl or Farmer’s Market?

The majority of the construction work will occur during the week and should not have a great deal of impact on the Farmer’s Market or Art Crawl, both of which occur on the weekends.

Other Lowertown Ballpark considerations

How does the ballpark compare to Midway Stadium?

The Lowertown Ballpark will replace the outdated and inadequate Midway Stadium.  The new ballpark will better serve the community, offering easy access compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, enhanced food service and restaurant facilities, more seating, and greater transit connectivity.  The new ballpark will complement the nature of its new downtown neighborhood, unlike Midway Stadium, which is the only non-industrial property in the immediate area.

Where will people park?

There are thousands of parking spaces in the Lowertown area that are located within blocks of the ballpark site, including the Union Depot.  Click here to view Saint Paul Smart Trip’s parking guide,  or click here for the Lowertown Contract Parking Availability Snapshot

Events

How much will Saints tickets cost at the new ballpark?

The St. Paul Saints are committed to maintaining its long tradition of offering affordable ticket and concession pricing.

Will other baseball teams be able to play their games at the ballpark?

In addition to hosting St. Paul Saints games, the Lowertown Ballpark will host baseball games for the Minnesota State High School League, Hamline University, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), and American Legion teams.  The state-of-the-art facility will make it possible for Saint Paul to recruit and host national baseball tournaments, such as the American Legion World Series and the NCAA Division II or III Championships.

Will the ballpark be used year-round?

The Lowertown Ballpark will host more than 100 non-baseball events annually.  Potential events include Winter Carnival activities to world-class concerts to fundraisers.

Job opportunities

Who should I contact to bid on construction work for the ballpark project?

Ryan Companies, the design-build contractor for the project, is in the process of selecting subcontractors for various parts of the project.  Please contact Mark Maghrak at 612-492-4327 for more information.

How can I get a job at the ballpark?

Each season the St. Paul Saints hire hundreds people for a variety of seasonal positions.  Please visit the Saints website for more information about job opportunities at Midway Stadium for the 2014 season.