How did we get here? The story of CHS Field isn’t as simple as wanting a new ballpark, therefore a new ballpark is built. It took a lot of hard work, countless people and turning down the opportunity of changing addresses back in the 90s.
While Midway Stadium was built in 1982, the St. Paul Saints first season wasn’t until 1993. Just two years later, then Mayor Norm Coleman presented Saints Owner/President Mike Veeck with an opportunity: move the team to a location near the Civic Center and the River. The city will support the project and built a new ballpark that could be used by the Saints and amateur teams. Veeck took the pulse of Saints fans and the feedback he got was resounding, don’t move the team.
With the issue dropped the Saints continued to enjoy their time at Midway Stadium, but by early 2000 the team began to outgrow their home. In 2003 the club looked into a location at the corner of Lexington and University, the former site of Lexington Park, the home of the Saints from 1897-1956. The measure never got past the city and was thus dropped.
In 2009 the push was on again with two locations in mind: the area where the Diamond Products/Gillette Building was located in Lowertown Saint Paul and an area on West 7th St., the Schmidt Brewery site. The Fort Road Foundation District Council elected not to meet with the Saints and the city about the Schmidt Brewery location. The team turned their attention to the Lowertown area. After getting little support during the 2009 DEED process and failing to secure the support needed, the city and Saints went back to the drawing board. For the next two years fans helped the effort, writing letters to their elected officials, to generate support. Those elected officials toured Midway as the city and team explained the purpose of a new ballpark. The Saint Paul Port Authority purchased the remaining section of the Diamond Products/Gillette property in July 2012, which was critical to securing city and state funding for the project. The hard work paid off in September, 2012 when the project was awarded a $25 million DEED grant.
With that the City of Saint Paul, Saint Paul Port Authority, State of Minnesota, and St. Paul Saints turned a brownfield into a ballpark.
CHS Field will create the next chapter in Saint Paul’s storied history of baseball. The city has been home to a regional ballpark since 1930, beginning with Lexington Park, the original Midway Stadium in the 1950s, and the current Midway Stadium, which was built in 1982.
The total cost of the project was $63 million. The City of Saint Paul provided $19 million and a $5 million internal loan, the St. Paul Saints provided $11 million, and the State of Minnesota provided a $25 million grant for the construction, $2 million in grants for the environmental cleanup work, and a $1 million loan for the project. The City of Saint Paul received two grants for environmental remediation efforts that helped repay the internal loan: a $748,100 Livable Communities Tax Base Revitalization Account (TBRA) grant from the Metropolitan Council and a $747,900 Environmental Response Fund grant from Ramsey County. The City pursued funds from other entities, including grants related to environmental cleanup, to repay the remaining $3.5 million of the internal loan.
The approximately 7,000-seat ballpark will be owned by the City of Saint Paul and operated by the St. Paul Saints.
From a leisurely afternoon taking in the signs of CHS Field from the Minnesoyta Lawn to hosting the annual company field day event, CHS Field offers a unique venue to provide a memorable experience for your employees and clients.
Would you like to get out of the board room and into the ballpark? The Securian Club at CHS Field provides a one-of-a-kind location for your next meeting. The Securian Financial Club can seat up to 200 guests and offers audio and video equipment.
CHS Field offers one of the most unique wedding venues in Saint Paul. From ceremonies on home plate to scenic receptions against the glow of the city lights in the Securian Financial Club, CHS Field has options available to accommodate weddings of up to 200 guests.
CHS Field is available for outdoor concerts and festivals. The venue can accommodate up to 12,000 guests by utilizing the field level and fixed seating areas. The warning track and concourse are great for vendors to set up demonstrations and exhibits.