Construction on Minnesota United’s soccer-specific St. Paul stadium could begin in as soon as a month from now.
Team owner Bill McGuire gave an update on the progress of the $150 million privately financed stadium during halftime of Saturday’s match against Orlando City SC at their temporary home, TCF Bank Stadium. McGuire said construction could begin in late June or early July, and he is aiming to start the 2019 season there.
“There’s a lot of anticipation and desire to really see things,” McGuire said. “We’ve spent countless hours, millions of dollars. Bids have been let for materials, steel, people that are doing construction, steel cement, prefab, elevators. All of those people have been contracted or chosen. A lot more still to be done, obviously, but I think in general, people want to see something that’s physical. And I’m sure there’s a little anxiety until that’s going on.”
McGuire said he reviewed the 95 percent complete designs for the 19,916 capacity stadium — that has the potential to reach 24,474 — just Friday. He also said the pitch at the new stadium will be heated with an air system underneath so the team could play matches in mid-to-late March, a few weeks after the Major League Soccer season begins.
As far as the tax exemptions that have been in the works for more than a year and are currently waiting for Gov. Mark Dayton’s approval, McGuire said his confidence is “high” that those tax breaks will pass.
“We know that it’s part of a complicated set of items,” McGuire said. “There are a lot of important things in that tax bill along with us, and we think it’ll happen.”
McGuire declined to comment on particulars around the redevelopment of the Midway Shopping Center property next to United’s stadium site.
“What I can say about that is there’s a number of parties involved in accomplishing this entire redevelopment above and beyond just the stadium,” McGuire said.
“It includes the Port Authority, obviously, the city of St. Paul and Metro Transit, which are involved with the bus barn site. RK Midway that owns the property in several different parcels that have different kinds of financing or no financing on them, and then Irgens development out of Milwaukee, who’s come forward and wants to be principally involved in developing the site.
‘‘It’s really just a matter of bringing all those things together.
“I don’t think it’s so much a problem as it is timing issues. And so we’re doing a lot of things in anticipation of that.”