Minnesota State Legislature

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Midway Soccer Stadium Aid Added to House Omnibus Tax Bill

by on 27 March 2017

The Minnesota State House added two amendments to bill HF4 last week that included help for Minnesota United’s soccer stadium. The addition to the House version of the bill would allow a permanent property tax exemption and a sales tax exemption on materials that would be used for the construction of the stadium.

As we reported in February, a property tax exemption was already included in the omnibus tax measure drafted by Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, which looked very similar to the 2016 version of the bill. Although the bill was passed in last year’s session, Dayton pocket vetoed the bill because of a language error which would have cost the state over $1 million in lost revenue.

The Republican-led House has been grappling with their own version of the bill, which was introduced in early January without any soccer stadium language.

Last week’s addition includes a property tax exemption that the ownership group of the team has said is necessary to build the $150 million state-of-the-art soccer stadium. It also includes a sales tax exemption on materials used to build the stadium. The house bill projects that exemption to be worth about $3.3 million.

The team also requested the sales tax exemption last year, but it was never added to the omnibus tax measure. Later, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said there were mechanisms available to still allow the sales tax exemptions. Similar exemptions were also used when building the St. Paul Saints’ new stadium, CHS Field. If the omnibus measure passes with the sales tax exemption, it will streamline the process.

Minnesota United’s stadium is likely to be completed in early 2019, but the team is still waiting on legislative approval of the exemptions and need to acquire another two acres of land for the front of the stadium, which is currently owned by Midway Shopping Center owner Rick Birdoff.

The Star Tribune reported last week that the St. Paul Port Authority will vote on Tuesday to partner with Irgens, a Milwaukee-based company, to redevelop about 21 acres of the 25-acre Midway Center site, which is adjacent to the bus barn property where the stadium will sit. Minnesota United would partner with Irgens and the Port Authority and would have 30 percent ownership under the proposed agreement. It’s believed that this move will help the team to acquire the final parcel of land needed on the north end of the stadium.

The omnibus tax bill heads to the House Ways and Means Committee today (Monday, March 27).


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  • Benjamin MacKenzie

    The reconciliation process on the two bills will be interesting. Not sure how much push back there would be more strident voices in the house, particularly among fiscal conservatives opposed to perceived stadium expenses (or local liberals opposed to ceding potential tax revenues).