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Wednesday, Apr 16th

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Saints ballpark bill suffers setback in Senate

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St. Paul Saints

Proposed state funding for a new St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) ballpark suffered a setback in a Minnesota Senate bonding proposal, where the project was totally zeroed out.

The Senate Republicans unveiled a $496-million bonding bill today, and the proposal was pretty naked in its politics: the mostly rural caucus failed to include funding for any large projects pushed by either Minneapolis or St. Paul. The Saints and the city have proposed a $54-million, 7,000-seat ballpark in downtown St. Paul at the Diamond Products site, off Broadway Street across from the Farmers' Market. Gov. Mark Dayton included $27 million for the ballpark in his state bonding request; House Republicans have countered with $2 million in planning money. The Senate Republicans don't even bother with any planning money, even though their bonding proposal was more than double the amount projected by House Republicans.

All of these differences will need to be worked out either in committee or in negotiations with the governor's office.

If funded by the Legislature this session, we could see a new Saints ballpark by 2014; if not, the opening could be delayed until 2016.

RELATED STORIES: St. Paul close to acquiring land for new Saints ballpark; Saints ballpark funding passes hurdle; Saints ballpark funding part of state bonding bill

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