MLS eyes St. Paul for soccer stadium

As Major League Soccer officials look to place a franchise in Minnesota, the league said it would take a look at St. Paul as a contender for the stadium.

A spot near Target Field in downtown Minneapolis was the first choice, but MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott said on 1500 ESPN that a July 1 deadline for stadium plans in Minneapolis expired, and he’ll meet with officials in St. Paul, including Mayor Chris Coleman. The league could still decide not to put a franchise in Minnesota altogether.

The Star Tribune reported the two potential St. Paul sites are a 15-acre area near Snelling Avenue and University Avenue, which used to be a Metro Transit bus barn, or near the Capitol where a Sears is currently located.

The estimated $120 million stadium would be mostly privately-funded and seat 18,500 people.

Former UnitedHealth Group chief executive Dr. Bill McGuire leads a local investor group, and said a public subsidy package is needed to make the stadium happen. The legislature adjourned before the league announced they’d look at Minnesota, and a local subsidy package for a soccer stadium went unapproved, something McGuire said would be essential for the franchise to be profitable.