Mark Abbott, president and deputy commissioner of Major League Soccer (MLS), will visit St. Paul next week to meet with Mayor Chris Coleman about the city’s plans to land a soccer stadium for a potential Minnesota franchise.
Coleman and Abbott will meet Tuesday evening, said Tonya Tennessen, the mayor’s communications director. Other MLS officials will also participate.
The primary site being pitched by the mayor for a soccer stadium, in the Midway district at Snelling and University avenues, includes a vacant tract owned by Metro Transit that was once used to house buses.
Coleman and Abbott “haven’t had a face-to-face meeting until now. This is the first opportunity to do that,” Tennessen said Friday. “The mayor is really excited to welcome him to St. Paul and share with him why he thinks the bus barn site is such a viable option.”
It wasn’t clear Friday whether Abbott would visit that site, but it does appear that he won’t be visiting any other potential stadium sites in St. Paul, Tennessen said.
She added that she didn’t know if the meeting would include Dr. William McGuire, owner of Minnesota United FC, the soccer club slated to become an MLS expansion team if a stadium is built in the Twin Cities.
She also said she doesn’t know if Abbott plans to meet with Minneapolis officials about any progress there to build a soccer stadium near Target Field.
Coleman jumped into the stadium discussion last month after the Minnesota United ownership group and Minneapolis failed to firm up plans to build a stadium there. Minneapolis officials say their efforts continue.