St. Paul releases updated design drawings of Lowertown ballpark

Courtesy of the City of St. Paul
Rendering of the outfield view of the Lowertown Ballpark released on Thursday.

St. Paul officials today released updated renderings of the new Lowertown ballpark that will be home to the minor league St. Paul Saints baseball team.

Demolition of the old Gillette/Diamond Products building, on the ballpark site near the Farmers’ Market, is nearly finished. The field is scheduled to be ready for the 2015 Saints season.

The ballpark’s price tag is now at least $62 million, with most coming from state and city financing. The baseball team’s share comes largely from naming rights and other new revenue generated by the park.

Officials said the ballpark’s architectural design will fit well with the historic Lowertown buildings by using blackened steel, timber and load-bearing masonry.

Concept drawings released earlier were criticized by Council Member Dave Thune and the State Historic Preservation Office.

City officials said a majority of the  Lowertown Ballpark Design and Construction Committee support the updated design, and that the design team has also been working with the State Historic Preservation Office on the ballpark’s design and will submit more refined plans later this month.

Julie Snow, president of Julie Snow Architects, the project’s design architect, said of the updated design: “Not only will this be a great place for baseball, it will connect trails and new public space with the arts community in a building that is open, yet still feels like it is part of the community.”

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/05/2013 - 01:13 pm.

    $9,000 a seat?

    That’s what $63 million for 7,000 seats comes down to. Can’t say I’m terribly impressed by what I could see of the interior and exterior design elements. Are the architects Scandinavian?

  2. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 12/05/2013 - 01:59 pm.

    So according to the drawings..

    ..the left field home run porch is 895 feet?

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 12/05/2013 - 03:14 pm.

    There must be quite a demand for Saints skyboxes.

  4. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 12/05/2013 - 07:55 pm.

    I don’t get it

    With all the (justified) complaining about the financing of the Vikings stadium, why aren’t people more up in arms about this? Is it because its less money? Because the team owners are millionaires and not billionaires. Unlike the Vikings – who really could have left town – the Saints aren’t going anywhere. And while the stadium will be used for other things, most of those don’t need a $63 million facility. If you want to invest in kids sports, put some money into fields in St.Paul parks, many of which are in awful shape. A lot could be done for a fraction of the expense here.

    Those new pictures don’t tell me much – other than the park is 895 feet to left.

    • Submitted by Jim Buscher on 12/06/2013 - 09:18 am.

      I think you basically hit it on the head. This is a lot less money than what the Vikings or Twins asked for. The city has owned the Saints stadium in one form or another long before either of those teams even existed. I think this ballpark is more palpable for the majority.

      Yes it’s true this ballpark isn’t needed to host the other non-Saints events. Neither is the Vikings stadium needed for free indoor running or Twinsfests or Monster Truck rallies. But that’s the way they are sold to us. M’eh.

      I still think this will be a huge draw for downtown St. Paul. It’s constantly mocked and ridiculed for closing after 5pm or being dead on weekends. This ballpark is going to bring two to three hundred thousand more people to downtown during the year. That’s a big win. To me that justifies the $63 million cost (a quarter of that is just in land and cleaning up the pollution).

      PS. Am I missing something re: the 895 feet to left? Obviously its not going to be that far(?)

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