2012 Bonding Bill: Newspaper Makes Case for New Saints Ballpark

As Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton prepares to unveil his bonding proposal to fund capital projects, the Pioneer Press makes the case for the proposed new 7,000-seat ballpark in Lowertown St. Paul (MN) for the indy pro St. Paul Saints (American Association).  A new stadium for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings will be taken up by the Minnesota Legislature during the upcoming legislative session, so the time is certainly ripe for the Saints and their allies to hitch the Lowertown project to any bonding/stadium bill that moves.  Read more here.

1 Comment

Filed under Design & Construction, Money & Financials, Stadium Issues

One response to “2012 Bonding Bill: Newspaper Makes Case for New Saints Ballpark

  1. Jesse Haug

    I’m an artist living in lowertown, and I have talked to MANY of my neighbors about this. The overwhelming consensus is that no one (the people who actually live here and will have to deal with the consequences) wants this to happen.

    Plenty of us are sports fans and support the minor leagues over the major leagues, but none the less, Lowertown is NOT the right fit.

    A stadium in lowertown makes absolutely no sense and would disrupt the arts community, not help it. If the city actually wanted to do something for the people who lived here, put this community on the map as an arts district, save money v.s a complete demo/ stadium build, and ACTUALLY make a sound financial decision that could increase the cities coffers…….

    Then they should transform and retrofit the large building as a multipurpose art center.
    – A place for some much needed stores such as a grocery/ace hardware/art materials/book store/ etc,
    -A place for “Messy/industrial” studio spaces and shared community work studios that can be set up for different mediums and used by artists under supervision.
    -A performance space/hall for music, theater, and movies,
    -A gallery that houses a new exhibit each month that represents all the artists who live in lowertown and acts as an index or gateway for visitors.
    -A space for smaller “specialty” galleries.
    -Roof top gardens.
    -Any number of ways to repurpose the building into serving the community.

    Lowertown needs a place that definitively establishes us as an arts district to outsiders and that cant be easily “pushed out” as has happened time and time again all over the country. An area is rundown/abandoned/cheep and artists move in, the artists renovate/repurpose or otherwise make the place look nicer and it becomes “cool”, some businesses move in, a few non-artist living spaces open up, some artists become disenchanted with the area and move out, more non artists move in, and the “artist community” slowly bleeds out. This is the threat lowertown is under right now. We are at a crucial tipping point that needs to be recognized. And a Stadium will be a shot to the head.

    A stadium would cost HUGE amounts of money, take years from demo to completion, and create even more noise during construction. Once completed it would be under-utilized as we live in a state with a long winter, (not to mention the only events that could draw enough people to substantially benefit the local businesses are the 50 saints games) , waves of noisy inconvenience will flood lowertown during games and cause congestion. Sports fans as a whole often have little interest in the arts, so this will not necessarily lead to art sales or money in the pockets of those living here. They may stop by local bars/restaurants, but not as much as the proponents claim, and only during the handfull of games that happen each year.

    By contrast, an arts center renovation would cost a fraction.
    of what a stadium would. It would mostly be inside and therefore create a lot less noise/mess. Would take a fraction of the time. Could be an opportunity for eco-friendly innovations. It would create an true arts district identity for lowertown that would help preserve the community. The center would be used year round and would not only encourage the spending of money inside (more city revenue though taxes) but patrons of the arts would be more likely to want to explore the surrounding areas and spend money at other local businesses. Such a center would not only provide stores/services/opportunities for artists but could be a sustainable economic wind that would make supporting ones self as an artist more realistic. If the artists ( the people living here) have more money then they can spend more on rent, more on supplies, and more at local businesses YEAR ROUND. Or in other words, more tax revenue for the city that is consistant.

    Do we want our cherished community to wither away or do we want to strengthen it through practical planning that is economically self-sustaining on both a city level and for those living here.

    Less work for more return and we keep the community vibrant!

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