Soccer players at Capitol to urge tax breaks for builders of St. Paul stadium

Author:
Updated:
Original:

There's no stoppage time at the Minnesota Legislature.

So members of the state's top soccer team came to the Capitol Monday to remind lawmakers that the clock is ticking toward their adjournment date (May 23) and they have not yet acted on three requests by the group ready to build a new stadium in St. Paul.

Members of Minnesota United FC went through some practice drills on the lawn that faces the Capitol and the Senate Office Building, WCCO reports. It was their way of encouraging legislators to approve tax breaks and a liquor license for the team's owners.

The ownership group has said if they get those approvals they're ready to pay for a new $150 million stadium in the Midway neighborhood that would allow United FC to move up to Major League Soccer.

What are they asking for?

Mayor Chris Coleman emphasized Monday that United FC's owners – led by former UnitedHealth Group CEO Bill McGuire – have agreed to pay the full cost of building the stadium, as well as operating and maintaining it, the Pioneer Press reports. Those expenses are in addition to a $100 million expansion fee United would pay to join Major League Soccer.

But to make that happen, McGuire has said the ownership group needs three things from the Legislature:

  • Permission for the site to be exempt from property taxes. Most of the site – 10 of the 12 acres – has been off the tax rolls for decades because it is owned by a government agency, the Metropolitan Council.
  • An exemption from sales taxes on the materials purchased to build the stadium.
  • A license to sell liquor in the 20,000-seat stadium.

https://twitter.com/gspphoto/status/729754061948395520

Are they close to getting it?

Not right now.

There are some signs of life, though. A big tax bill that includes the property tax exemption is slated for a Tuesday vote in a Senate committee.

That bill does not contain the sales tax break. But Sen. Sandy Pappas, a St. Paul DFLer, tells the Pioneer Press: "We see other avenues for getting that in....This is a moving product."

The legislature's wheels will stop moving in less than two weeks, though. United FC's in person appearance Monday was meant to prod lawmakers toward a long-awaited goal of soccer fans before that deadline arrives.

Next Up

Em1jOWyWEAwspXK (1)

St. Paul homicide suspect arrested by FBI in Chicago

A 34-year-old Minneapolis man was killed in the Nov. 14 shooting.

Sanford Health

Sanford Health 'parts ways' with CEO after his face mask comments

Kelby Krabbenhoft had been with the company since 1996.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.

PennyMomentos

How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.

Drywall

Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.

ambulance

4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.

Related