Architects chosen to build St. Paul soccer stadium have long sports resumé

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Minnesota's Major League Soccer stadium will soon hit the drawing board. And the architects who will do the drawing have plenty of experience with soccer stadiums and with Minnesota.

The Kansas City-based firm Populous was chosen by Minnesota United FC to design the St. Paul building that will be the team's home when it joins MLS, the team announced Tuesday.

Populous is the architecture firm behind soccer stadiums around the world – from London and Johannesburg to MLS facilities in Kansas City and Washington, D.C.

The company has already left its mark on the Twin Cities by designing Target Field, the Xcel Energy Center, and TCF Bank Stadium.

United's president said in a statement that the team has been having conversations with Populous for two years, although the decision to build in St. Paul wasn't announced until last month.

The Business Journal notes that St. Paul and Minnesota United are still negotiating some parts of their agreement, under which United's owners will pay the estimated $120 million cost of building the stadium at a site near Snelling and University Avenues in what's known as the Midway area (because it's roughly midway between the Twin Cities' downtowns).

While the stadium will occupy a 10-acre parcel of publicly owned land, St. Paul sees it as the cornerstone to redeveloping the surrounding land, which is occupied by a vacant lot and an aging shopping center.

Last week Mayor Chris Coleman named an advisory committee to guide redevelopment of the whole 34-acre site and said a final development agreement between St. Paul and the soccer team will likely be in front of the city council in January.

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