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Momentum on United's new soccer stadium could shift to St. Paul

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It appears momentum could be shifting from Minneapolis to St. Paul to become the site of a proposed privately funded soccer stadium that would be the home of the Minnesota United FC when the team begins play in Major League Soccer in 2018.

Project developers have been seeking tax breaks from the city on the property to construct the stadium – an issue that has gone nowhere with the Minneapolis city council.

According to the Business Journal, a Minneapolis City Council working group is expected to report back to the team with its findings in December.

Hennepin County has also gotten into the game. Commissioner Mike Opat, who helped structure the deal to build Target Field, is proposing to add the United's stadium to the 0.15 percent countywide sales tax that helped build the Twins stadium.

But that may not come together quickly enough to meet an impending deadline for the site near the Farmers Market.

At the end of August, United's development group will lose the exclusive right to purchase the land near the Farmers Market. And according to the Star Tribune, the site's owner doesn't appear to be willing to entertain future offers from the group either.

"The only thing that can change is they have a check on my desk on Monday morning. In reality, I doubt it," property owner Robert Salmen told the newspaper.

A development group representing United owner Bill McGuire secured the yearlong exclusivity in 2014. Salmen says once it expires, he doesn't plan to sell to McGuire.

"We have no interest ... Even if they're interested at this point, we're not going to proceed," Salmen said. "We're done with it."

While it hasn't been smooth sailing in Minneapolis, things have gone much easier across the river in St. Paul. Earlier this week, in a largely symbolic vote, the city council unanimously passed a proposal to extend the tax breaks for a privately-funded soccer stadium near the Midway shopping mall.

The team hasn't had a lot to say about it so far. Minnesota United's president issued a statement following the vote saying the team is pleased to see continued support for bringing Major League Soccer to Minnesota.

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