The push to build a professional soccer stadium in St. Paul moved to the city’s Planning Commission Friday, where several people who spoke said plans are moving too quickly for adequate review.
Many people urged the Planning Commission to act deliberately as it moves forward. It is expected to make a recommendation to the City Council sometime in July. Then, the council would vote on the plans for the stadium and surrounding development in August.
Earlier this week, St. Paul released an 84-page document detailing how a professional soccer stadium and surrounding mixed-use redevelopment would impact the Snelling-Midway community. It’s all been a lot to digest in a short time, said Eric Molho, who co-chaired a community advisory committee that weighed in on the Snelling-Midway redevelopment.
“This has been a huge and very fast-moving project,” he said.
Minnesota United, Minnesota’s professional soccer franchise that has been tentatively approved as a Major League Soccer expansion team, announced late last year that it intended to build a 20,000-seat, $150 million privately funded stadium near Snelling and University avenues. Since then, there have been committee meetings, public presentations and an attempt to win a state property tax exemption. The Legislature last month approved the exemption, but it died after Gov. Mark Dayton did not sign the tax bill.
Nevertheless, team and city officials continue pushing forward with their plans for the stadium and surrounding development on the site of the current Midway Shopping Center.