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St. Paul plans bid for state money to build Saints ballpark

St. Paul officials plan bid for $27 million in state aid to build a regional ballpark in the downtown Lowertown area.

St. Paul officials were gearing up Thursday to apply for $27 million in state aid to build a ballpark in the downtown Lowertown area for the St. Paul Saints and amateur baseball.

The city’s application for money in the bonding bill had been rejected by legislators during the session, even though (or because?) Gov. Mark Dayton was a big supporter.

But legislators gave the city a second chance by establishing a $47.5 million pot of money for capital project and as the application process opened Thursday afternoon, St. Paul was preparing its bid, according to Mayor Chris Coleman’s office.

There’s no guarantee St. Paul will get all the money it wants for the project; Rochester, St. Cloud and Mankato are also expected to apply for money for civic center projects.

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But Dayton threw out the first pitch at the Saints home opener the other day and seems to agree with Mayor Chris Coleman that the team needs to move out of the city’s aging Midway Stadium.

And St. Paul officials already have worked out a deal to buy the old Gillette manufacturing plant that will be demolished to make way for the proposed ballpark.

Applications for the bonus bonding program are due by June 26.

Two Cities blog, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul City Halls, is made possible in part by grants from The Saint Paul Foundation and the Carolyn Foundation.