As we push toward the playoffs, we know a lot of you like to keep an eye on what’s coming next for the club. We’re all excited about the prospects of a new stadium, and it seems closer every day. But it’s not a done deal yet. And we need your help. We need to show Saint Paul and the legislature just how much this stadium means to us as fans and as a community. And we know that the stadium’s opponents will be well organized.

That’s why we’re asking you to attend a town hall meeting with three of Saint Paul’s state legislators on Tuesday, October 6 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM at Gloria Dei church in Saint Paul. You can check out all the details below, but if you support a privately funded soccer stadium, this is an ideal time to let State Senator Dick Cohen and State Reps. Erin Murphy and Dave Pinto know that you support, and more importantly will spend money near, a soccer stadium in Saint Paul.

What: General Issues Town Hall

Who: MN Sen. Dick Cohen, MN Rep. Erin Murphy, MN Rep. Dave Pinto, & You

When: Tuesday October 6th from 6:30 to 8:00 PM

Where: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116

This isn’t a meeting just to talk about stadiums. It’s a general forum to listen to concerns about the city, but we know that the people that oppose new development in the area will be out in force, spreading half-truths and conjecture and we need to make sure that theirs aren’t the only voices in the room. You’ve heard all the arguments before: no one likes soccer; there will be too many cars on game day; I know there’s a secret attempt to give my tax dollars away in here somewhere. And we know that most of the arguments just don’t hold water. But if we don’t show up to tell our elected officials, they will only get one side of the story. That’s why we need you, especially if you’re a Saint Paul resident, but even if you’re not.

How You Can Make A Difference

First, show up. Second, always be respectful and stay calm and composed. We know it might be hard if opponents hijack a meeting to oppose development that they seem to know little about, but it’s important to show that we only want what’s best for the community, and composure is the way to do that. Finally, be prepared. Much of the opposition to the stadium is based on conjecture and supposition. Others will just cherry-pick facts to support a conclusion that they’ve already arrived at. While there are a great many things we don’t know about a potential Bus Barn site stadium, and anyone that says they do is flat out wrong, here are some things that we do know:

First, this is $150 Million in privately financed development. No one has ever offered to build their own stadium in the Twin Cities. Not the Twins; not the Saints; and certainly not the Vikings. A lot of people want to split hairs and talk about property tax breaks or sales tax breaks on construction. The truth is that the currently, there are no property taxes on the property. The city, county, and state can’t be “giving away” tax dollars that they don’t currently collect. In fact, it’s almost certain that total property taxes collected in the surrounding will increase due to the stadium.

This stadium will spur development. Much has been made of studies that show that stadiums don’t act as the development catalyst that backers tout them as. In many instances, these studies are correct, but they often deal with very different areas than the Midway Bus Barn location. This location is ripe for re-development due to new transit and the changing face of the surrounding neighborhoods. It simply hasn’t happened yet though, and without City intervention and a large coordinated catalyst for new investment, it may not happen for the Midway area any time soon. Several developers have considered and backed away or tried and failed to reinvest in the area and there’s absolutely no indication that anyone other than Minnesota United has a plan to do so in the future.

Yes, there will be extra traffic on match days. But, it will almost never interrupt the daily commute and the area is already capable of dealing with much more traffic than it does most days. The State Fair, just up Snelling from the site, saw anywhere from 100,000-200,000 visitors, daily this year. A soccer stadium will generate a tiny fraction of that total.

A Bus Barn site stadium is poised to be one of the most transit-friendly attractions in the Twin Cities, and one of the easiest stadiums to get to without driving, anywhere in the country. Not only does the Green Line LRT run right past the site, Snelling and the surrounding area are getting a major facelift, which includes the cities’ first Bus Rapid Transit Line. It’s likely that Metro Transit routes will deliver an even greater percentage of the fans than the 1 in 3 patrons that typically take public transportation to weekend Twins games at Target Field. For those that still choose to drive, much if not most of the needed parking is already available in the area

2 thoughts on “Town Hall Meeting – 10/6

  1. I desperately want an urban stadium. The farmers market site is objectively superior, but I’ll settle for this one. I do question the enthusiasm some people have for the transportation infrastructure here. Where is the parking for 20,000 fans (please, no new surface lots)? Yes, some will bike. And yes, some will take transit, but I’m not sure if I buy the claim of 7,000 doing that. But let’s say they do. You still need parking for up to ~14,000 fans, which is probably in the neighborhood of 5-7,000 parking spaces (Bare Minimum 3,500). And yes, the neighborhoods can absorb some of that. But go look at a map, and tell me where you would park. So, are they going to build a parking ramp for the few dozen days a year the stadium is in use? I hate to say this, but I think I hope so. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t know that I believe most of the parking is already there, unless they plan on striking a deal with the shopping center. And that would be Wonderful. I hate that every Target, Best Buy and Walmart designs parking lots to accommodate Black Friday projections, then sit 80% vacant 364 days a year. It wouldn’t convince me that this is the better site, but if that is their plan, I’d love it if someone could tell me that.

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