Soccer talks held in both Twin Cities as stadium ideas get kicked around

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Soccer involves patience and endurance – biding one's time until the moment is right and recognizing opportunity when it arrives.

The talks aimed at bringing a pro soccer stadium to the Twin Cities seem a little like that, too.

The top brass of Minnesota United were at Minneapolis city hall on Friday, a day after meeting with business leaders in St. Paul.

But those closed-door meetings left soccer fans still waiting to see if Minnesota can score a new stadium that would allow them to join Major League Soccer. (United currently plays in the second-tier North American Soccer League.)

Minneapolis still in play

Even though Minneapolis failed to meet Major League Soccer's July 1 deadline for putting a stadium plan in place, a new facility in the Mill City remains a possibility.

The Star Tribune reports Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire was joined by the team's president and attorney for a private meeting Friday with the city's stadium working group.

Mayor Betsy Hodges described it as an exchange of information, while city council member Blong Yang told the newspaper: “In some ways [the meeting] was a feeling out of Minneapolis and how committed we were to this process and whether a deal was going to get done or not.”

This spring, United's ownership group proposed a privately funded $150 million soccer stadium at a site near downtown Minneapolis, but failed to gain the property and sales tax breaks they said were needed to make the plan viable.

The Star Tribune says the owner of the land being considered for a Minneapolis stadium has said the city's option to purchase the site will only last through late summer.

St. Paul, too

When Minneapolis missed MLS' July 1 deadline, the league expressed new interest in a possible St. Paul stadium – and Mayor Chris Coleman returned that interest by encouraging the team to look at a site along Interstate 94 along Snelling Ave.

KARE 11 reported on a meeting St. Paul Chamber of Commerce leaders held Thursday with Minnesota United's McGuire.

McGuire told the station: "I think we are committed to doing the right thing for the community and bringing soccer to this community. We're going to be at the best place possible to make that happen for the people."

Meanwhile, MinnPost reports emails between St. Paul officials show the city was putting together a stadium proposal more than two months before Minneapolis' July 1 deadline arrived.

MPR News notes the correspondence released Friday also shows that talks with McGuire mentioned the possibility of including as much as 30 acres of land at the Snelling Ave. site, by incorporating an adjacent strip mall.

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