State tax breaks have been granted for a new Minnesota United FC stadium, marking a long-awaited approval for the project.
Minnesota United FC has been seeking tax exemptions for its future soccer-specific stadium that is to be constructed in St. Paul. The proposal called for the state to grant relief for property and sales taxes, with the $150 million price tag for the stadium covered by private money.
Previous attempts to obtain the tax breaks have stalled. Last year, United sought approval of the breaks for the project in St. Paul, only to see the pitch fall short amidst a political standoff. The most recent tax bill was approved by state legislators as part of a special session, and was signed into law by governor Mark Dayton on Tuesday.
For United, the wait for the stadium’s completion continues. Plans to construct the facility in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood are taking shape, and indications are that the organization is now hoping for a 2019 opening. More from the Pioneer Press:
This third try was successful. [United owner Bill] McGuire said Saturday that 95 percent of the stadium’s designs are done and construction could begin in June or early July. The target opening is March 2019, in time for the club’s third season in MLS. In the meantime, the Loons have a two-year agreement to play at the University of Minnesota’s football stadium.
McGuire said construction will start on the stadium’s southern edge and work its way north. This plan will provide added time to work on the complicating leases for existing businesses occupying shops on the site’s northern edge.
A portion of the project’s site is currently occupied by The Midway Shopping Center. United joined MLS as an expansion franchise this year, and is using the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium as a temporary venue until the new stadium opens.