Proposal would exempt Minnesota United games from noise limits

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota United. 

The St. Paul City Council is set to vote Wednesday on whether to exempt the new Major League Soccer stadium from the city’s official noise limits.  

Under the proposed amendment, Minnesota United matches, league events and other sporting events “sponsored by a team or the city” at Allianz Field would be exempt from the city’s noise limits. Concerts, fireworks displays and other commercial or entertainment events, however, would still have to come before the city council for noise variances. 

The $150 million, 19,400-seat stadium is currently under construction at Interstate 94 and Snelling Avenue. It is expected to open in 2019. 

The Union Park District Council, the neighborhood association, says it does not support the proposed noise ordinance exemption, but instead recommends the city test it for the first five home games of the 2019 season. After that, the city can review the noise levels generated by the stadium each match and grant the exemption for the remainder of the season.  

The city council has only received two emails from residents in opposition of the proposal. 

“Just because the city owns the facility doesn’t mean that the city should change our laws to accommodate the private owners of this sports team,” Benita Warns, one St. Paul resident, wrote. “This team should be required to pay for the noise pollution that they will inflict on us. Do not change the law for their benefit.” 

The new stadium should be subject to the same noise limits and variances as other public venues, another resident argued. 

The city council will vote on the proposed amendment at their meeting on Wednesday.