Deadline to buy Minneapolis land for MLS stadium expires

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A deadline to make a deal for land to build a Major League Soccer Stadium in Minneapolis has passed, making it more likely the stadium will end up in St. Paul.

Minnesota United had been interested in industrial property that sits between the Minneapolis Farmers Market and Target Field to build the $150 million stadium, but the deadline for the exclusive right to purchase the land was Monday, the Star Tribune reports – and it doesn't look like that offer was extended.

In fact, Robert Salmen, who owns the North Loop property, said he's fed up waiting for the team to make an offer, WCCO notes, and he told the Star Tribune last week that once the exclusivity deal expires, he doesn't plan to sell his land to United owner Bill McGuire.

At this point, Salmen has not commented on the deadline passing, so it's not clear if the Farmers Market land is still in play.

However, this does make it more likely the stadium will end up in St. Paul, the Pioneer Press says.

St. Paul City Council, in a largely symbolic vote last week, unanimously passed a proposal to extend the tax breaks for a privately-funded soccer stadium near the Midway shopping mall.

Project developers have been seeking tax breaks to construct the stadium – an issue that has gone nowhere with the Minneapolis City Council – and a proposed Hennepin County-led plan for stadium tax breaks was contingent on the Farmers Market property, the Star Tribune notes.

But Minnesota United remains silent on whether it will still pursue a Minneapolis stadium or build it off Snelling and University avenues in the state's capital city, the Pioneer Press says.

“This is a private deal between the team’s ownership group and a private landowner, the city is not privy to their negotiations," Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement, reports note, adding the city will continue moving forward with the working group.

The Minneapolis working group's initial report on pursing a partnership with the Minnesota United to build the stadium is due out in September, the Pioneer Press says.

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