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Soccer at Midway in 2018?

 

 Bill McGuire, the leader of an ownership group that has been awarded an MLS franchise, spoke to a group of business leaders today at CHS Field. He made the case that given local demographics and the explosion of interest in the sport, timing is right for a new soccer stadium, and why not build it in Saint Paul?

Minnesota has a rich tradition with professional soccer. The current team, Minnesota United, is scheduled to move to the MLS league in 2018. Tied to this expansion opportunity is the requirement to build a soccer specific stadium. Until recently, a Minneapolis site located at the present day Farmer’s Market in the downtown area was the leading location. With a deadline of July 1 to reach an agreement having passed, Minnesota United is considering its options.

 Mr. McGuire has expressed interest in a stadium site in the Midway area. This privately financed $150 million project would be bounded by University, Snelling and 94. Two of the requirements regarding the location are public transit and the opportunity to have a transformative effect on the local community. This site appears to be a great match for what the team is seeking.

 The Minnesota United ownership group is very bullish on the potential growth of soccer interest in the region. “It’s more of a world- wide sport than the other major sports in the U.S.,” said McGuire. It is also popular among millennials and recent immigrants, both growing populations in the Twin Cities. “MLS attendance has grown nationally, reflecting increased interest in the sport across the country,” he said. A new soccer stadium along with a growing fan base could spell success for Saint Paul and the Midway area.

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