nav-left cat-right

Come to the Forum on the City of Saint Paul’s proposed Soccer Stadium

Citing a lack of public engagement in the behind-the-scenes planning and deal making involving a proposed soccer stadium as part of the Midway Superblock redevelopment, Neighborhoods First! and the recently-formed Neighbors Against Corporate Subsidies (NACS) will cosponsor a public forum on

Tuesday, April 19th
7-8:30 p.m.
Midpointe Event Center, 415 Pascal St. N.
(behind Midway Center, next to dance studio)

The Forum will allow Midway-area residents to share concerns about the project and get answers from elected officials to many lingering questions.

“At this point, the city has offered little information about how it will address traffic, parking, and noise concerns related to the stadium or what it will do to ensure that local property values are not negatively impacted by this project” said Debbie Meister, longtime activist with Neighborhoods First! “Fifteen minutes at one city council hearing and fifteen minutes of the Mayor taking questions at an open house is far too little time for clearing up the many uncertainties about a project involving a public expenditure of $18.4 million,” she added.Soccer Stadium Map

Tom Goldstein, candidate for City Council last year in Ward 4 and long-time opponent of public subsidies for stadiums, shares Meister’s concerns about the lack of public engagement.

“Last August, the City Council voted in favor of a resolution to support the construction of a professional soccer stadium in the Midway provided the ‘City has strong, specific evidence that the stadium and public infrastructure investments will help catalyze additional investments on the Midway Shopping Center site,'” Goldstein said. “We’ve seen no evidence that anything other than a soccer stadium will be built there, and even that project is contingent on getting a tax exemption from the legislature and successfully mitigating pollution on the Bus Barn parcel.”

Neighborhoods First! and NACS plan to invite city council members, the Mayor, and state legislators who represent the Midway area-as well as representatives of RK Midway and Minnesota United-to serve on a guest panel. The format will be question and answer, and the organizers hope that residents will finally get specifics about exact funding sources for the city’s contribution to the project, actual job creation numbers, implications of property tax exemption and TIF financing on taxpayers, allocation of development rights between the parties, and other related concerns.

“Several council members have claimed that the public process for the proposed soccer stadium has been adequate and that people are very supportive of the project,” Goldstein said. “Let’s have the kind of robust engagement that will test that theory and find out.”

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Neighborhoods First! and Neighbors Against Corporate Subsidies