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Announcement expected Friday on St. Paul soccer stadium deal

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It appears that Major League Soccer is coming to St. Paul.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minnesota United FC owner Bill McGuire are expected to announce that a stadium deal has been reached for the city to be the new home of the United.

According to the Pioneer Press, a press conference has been scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Midpointe Event Center at 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.

The Business Journal reports that it obtained a copy of an email by St. Paul Chamber of Commerce President Matt Kramer to board members Thursday.

Kramer would not confirm the news when he was reached by the Star Tribune Thursday evening.

The proposed site for the new Minnesota United stadium is just off University and Snelling avenues on vacant property owned by the Metropolitan Council.

Specific details of the plan haven't been announced, but the Business Journal notes it is significant because McGuire has been quiet on the St. Paul site.

Even after Friday's announcement the proposal is far from a done deal. The agreement would need several approvals from different groups including the city council, the MLS and even the legislature.

Developers had originally hoped to build the stadium on a site near the Farmer's Market not far from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. But the proposal didn't get the tax breaks the soccer team's owners had hoped to receive for a privately financed stadium.

Momentum has been building behind the St. Paul proposal for some time as MLS officials toured the area several times with mayor Chris Coleman, and the city has been more receptive to a property tax exemption.

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