City Council Votes to Add $9M to Lowertown Ballpark Budget

Updated: 07/25/2013 7:48 AM By: Leslie Dyste

The St. Paul City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to expand the budget for St. Paul's Lowertown Ballpark.

The Saints stadium will now cost 17 percent more than originally planned; the city will use an "internal loan" to pay for the extra cost.

The St. Paul City Council held a public hearing Wednesday on the growing Saints ballpark budget and voted to add $9 million to the price tag.

Six of the seven council members attended the hearing, and all voted in favor. The city claims taxpayers are properly protected in this deal.

The extra funding is necessary because crews discovered the soil underneath the site is more unclean and unstable than they first thought.

The stadium which was originally projected to cost $54 million is now priced at $63 million.

The city says it has found a way to bridge the gap. The St. Paul Saints will pitch in another million dollars. Two million will come from previously unused state grant funds and $6 million will come from the "internal loan."

The city will seek that money through environmental grants, and says it has never failed to pay back an "internal loan." They plan to pay it off in three to five years.