Political machinations in St. Paul on Tuesday night gave Minnesota United two tax breaks it has long sought to begin construction of its soccer-specific stadium in the city’s Midway neighborhood.
Late Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a $650 million tax cut bill into law amid a high-stakes showdown with the Republican-controlled Legislature. Among those tax cuts are property tax breaks that United wants to help build its privately financed $150 million stadium.
The team gained approval for those measures in the 2016 legislative session. But they did not become law. They were among a package of tax breaks that Dayton vetoed, due to a $100 million error unrelated to the soccer facility.
Despite the setback, the team was approved for play in Major League Soccer this season, playing in TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota. That arrangement is expected to continue through 2018.
Construction on the 19,916 capacity stadium could begin in late June or early July, according to team owner Bill McGuire.
In a United statement released late Tuesday, McGuire thanked Dayton and the Legislature “for their work in helping to pass this legislation which is vital to our stadium goals.’’
"We look forward to continuing our efforts to build what we believe will be a world-class soccer specific stadium that will serve our team, our fans and our community, and will make everyone in Minnesota proud," McGuire said in the statement.
The team also is seeking a parcel of land under Midway Shopping Center for its development, with efforts to secure it involving several public entities.
“I don’t think it’s so much a problem as it is timing issues,’’ McGuire said Saturday night at halftime of the team’s match against Orlando City. “And so we’re doing a lot of things in anticipation of that.”