St. Paul signs final $43.8 million contract with Ryan for Lowertown Saints ballpark

St. Paul officials have signed the final $43.8 million contract with Ryan Cos. to build the St. Paul Saints’ minor-league baseball park in downtown’s Lowertown area.

The total cost of the ballpark is about $63 million.

Earlier, the city had paid Ryan about $9 million for design and other preliminaries. The remaining $10 million is for land acquisition, legal fees and other costs.

With demolition of the old Diamond Products/Gillette building now complete, work will start in spring on erecting the ballpark on land near the downtown Farmers’ Market. It’s due to be completed in time for the 2015 season.

As the ballpark goes up, so do the prices of most tickets to the Saints games.

Kevin Duchschere of the Star Tribune chronicled some fans’ pique at the doubling of the cost of some prime seats. Even charter season holders, who’ve had behind-the-plate seats from the team’s beginning in 1993, were hit with the big price hikes.

The Saints said they are raising the prices to serve the fans better, according to the story:

Saints’ General Manager Derek Sharrer said that although it will cost more to sit in the lower level behind home plate at the new ballpark than at Midway, the new “Capitol Box” section will feature comfortably wide and padded seats and come with a wait staff to boot.

“Behind home plate will be a premium experience that hasn’t existed at Midway Stadium,” Sharrer said. “What we’ve done to reconcile that is to work hard to find comparable experiences in the new ballpark that can be offered for the same price.”

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