Group proposing new soccer stadium continues to explore options

Minnesota United leaders say they are still considering options for a new soccer stadium despite failing to secure support for tax breaks on the project from the Legislature before it adjourned Monday.

United President Nick Rogers thanked supporters of the project and said the team continues to weigh it options.

“We feel that our stadium proposal, which is unprecedented and involves no governmental funds for the stadium construction, creates the basis for moving forward in a positive partnership with the community,” he said. “Accordingly, our organization is assessing all options in search of a solution that will secure a soccer-specific venue and Major League Soccer in Minnesota.”

United owner Bill McGuire’s investment group has proposed privately financing a $120 million stadium on the edge of downtown Minneapolis for a new Major League Soccer expansion team near the Minneapolis Farmers Market, but has sought a sales tax exemption on construction materials, a property tax exemption and limits on future local taxes levied on the stadium.

Mayor Betsy Hodges has expressed strong opposition to the group’s request for a property tax exemption.

The group has had discussions with City Council members about possibilities for a stadium agreement, but no formal proposal has come before the Council for consideration.  

Some City Council members, however, including Blong Yang (Ward 5), who represents the area eyed for the stadium, have expressed a willingness to consider tax breaks for the project. 

City Council Member Alondra Cano (Ward 9) hosted a community discussion Tuesday night on the soccer stadium proposal at Powderhorn Park.

In a Facebook post, she said there are many people who want to see a new soccer stadium have wide community benefits.

“Although there is nothing before us on the City Council, we do know there is a strong need for soccer equity investments that serve the people of color, low-income residents, and immigrant families in our communities,” she said. “The next steps for the soccer team owners is to try to get something done within the likely special legislative session.”

Minnesota United fans and the investment group working on the stadium proposal celebrated at Target Field on March 25 after Major League Soccer announced Minnesota had beat out other proposals for a new expansion team.

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FYI … 

City Council Member Jacob Frey (Ward 3) is hosting a community conversation on the soccer stadium proposal June 3, 7:30–8:45 a.m., at Mattie’s on Main, 43 Main St. SE. Nick Rogers, president of the Minnesota United FC, and Chuck Lutz, Deputy Director of Community Planning & Economic Development for the City of Minneapolis, will be in attendance.