Finally, Major League Soccer is coming to St. Paul

At last, Major League Soccer is coming to St. Paul, Mayor Chris Coleman and Minnesota United FC owner Bill McGuire announced at a news conference on Friday afternoon.

The $120 million, privately-funded, nearly 20,000-seat stadium will be built in the Midway neighborhood near the old Metro Transit “bus barn” at University and Snelling avenues, the site that’s been talked about for months.

Minnesota United became an MLS expansion franchise last spring, and is expected to being playing in the new stadium in 2018. MLS officials announced they intended to bring United into the league if they could build a stadium in Minneapolis’ North Loop near the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and lawmakers weren’t pleased, and the league turned their attention to St. Paul.

McGuire has promised it will be privately-funded in return for exemptions on property taxes and construction, then publicly-owned once construction is complete.

“By all measures important to soccer fans throughout the Twin Cities metro and the state, as well as the needs of the team and Major League Soccer (MLS), this is a great location for an iconic soccer facility that will house the MLS franchise in Minnesota,” said McGuire. “Located between two great downtowns, situated along multiple transit options and the interstate, and in the heart of a dynamic community, this site provides us the opportunity to work in partnership with the city of Saint Paul and the local community to establish top-tier professional soccer that will be readily accessible to everyone.”

St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman hopes it will capture the growing excitement nationwide over soccer and give the midtown St. Paul area an economic boost.

"The excitement around soccer in cities like Portland and Seattle and Kansas City, really across the country, I will guarantee you there will be no better place for soccer than the Twin Cities.” Coleman said.