Cat Video Festival moves to new Saints stadium

The Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Festival is digging its claws into the turf of CHS Field, the new St. Paul Saints Stadium on Aug. 12.

The popular feline-centric event celebrates its fourth year with a new roster of videos programmed by Will Braden, the man behind the Henri Le Chat Noir videos and winner of the Internet Cat Video Festival’s inaugural Golden Kitty Award.

Midway Stadium site gets state money for cleanup

While the Saints’ new ballpark continues to rise in downtown St. Paul, plans for their old home at Midway Stadium got a significant boost Tuesday from the state.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced $4.16 million in pollution cleanup or investigative grants to 10 redevelopment sites across the state, including $1.25 million to remediate the old ballpark site near Snelling Avenue in St. Paul.

The 12.9-acre site, once a dump, is co-owned by the St. Paul Port Authority and United Properties. They plan to build a light-industrial building where nearly 200 people can be employed. The redevelopment is expected to increase the tax base by $814,331.

Lowertown Saints stadium to host State American Legion Tournament in 2017

CHS Field will host a four-day State American Legion Tournament in July 2017, St. Paul officials announced Wednesday.

The amateur tournament will host 16 teams between July 28-31, with CHS Field serving as the main field — three other fields will be used during the tournament, according to a release from the city.

“Making the ballpark in Lowertown a field open to all — amateurs and pros, neighbors and visitors from across the state — has been a core principle from the project’s beginning,” St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said in the release.

The event is expected to draw thousands to the downtown area.

It’s the top of the 7th for Saints new ballpark

CHS Field, the new, city-owned St. Paul Saints ballpark now being built in the Lowertown neighborhood, is already 60 percent complete as builders race to a March 11 deadline using a process that shortened their schedule and made changes possible on the fly.

The ballpark was opened for a hard-hat tour this week by the Upper Midwest regional chapter of the Design-Build Institute of America, which represents contractors who can provide both the architecture and construction functions for building projects. One such firm is Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos., which last year beat out a pair of competitors to land the construction contract for the $63 million, 7,000-seat stadium.

St. Paul Saints ballpark will be green, city says

Following the lead of Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium, St. Paul officials are taking steps to ensure the ballpark rising in downtown for the St. Paul Saints will be green.

The city of St. Paul said Thursday that CHS Field will include an array of solar panels to help power the facility, as well as a system to capture nearby rainwater to irrigate the field and flush the toilets in the outfield restrooms.

“I am excited to announce these new initiatives, which will help make CHS Field one of the greenest minor league ballparks in America,” said Mayor Chris Coleman in a prepared statement.

The green systems won’t be cost-effective. Taken together, the solar and water systems add a little more than $1 million to the cost of the $65 million project, while saving only about $24,000 in annual operating costs.

But most of the installation costs are covered by corporate and publicly funded grants, project manager Paul Johnson said. And the bigger picture should be kept in mind as well, he said.

St. Paul Saints stadium builders aim to make it a ‘green’ field

It may be hard to envision on a snow-swept downtown corner near two freeways, but the new St. Paul Saints stadium couldn’t be more green.

When the $62 million stadium opens in May, the home of the city’s minor league baseball team will take a major step forward as an environmentally friendly sports facility.

A canopy of photovoltaic solar panels next to the baseball field will generate 103 kilowatts of power for Minnesota’s newest sports complex, a 7,000-seat facility owned by the city of St. Paul.

“We think it’s going to be the third largest solar array at a sports facility in the U.S,” project manager Paul Johnson said.

Status report: St. Paul Saints ballpark

Ryan Cos. US Inc. representatives says design and construction innovations have saved millions of dollars in project costs for the new $63 million St. Paul Saints ballpark, but some of the changes didn’t go over well at first.
The team wasn’t thrilled, for example, when Minneapolis-based Ryan first floated the idea of moving the Saints team offices from a nice second-story perch to the service level of the new 7,000-seat ballpark.
But the Saints eventually warmed to the idea from the project’s design-build contractor. The move saved about $1.5 million in project costs, and the new offices will offer field-level views that are “almost unprecedented” in other sports facilities, said Logan Gerken, Ryan Cos.’ lead architect for the project.
Gerken shared the story while leading a tour of the project on a cold Monday afternoon. The move stemmed from the need for change and creative thinking on a project that faced escalating costs. The ballpark is at Fifth and Broadway streets in the Lowertown area of the city’s downtown.

Home turf: St. Paul Saints field has new grass

CHS Field in St. Paul’s Lowertown got a dose of summer with its first layer of sod Wednesday. Just after dawn, crews started installing the infield turf at the $62 million stadium. It’s a key part of the construction process that signals the minor league baseball St. Paul Saints will play on the new home field at the start of the season next May.

Up next for Saints ballpark: Seats, lights, sod

The new $63 million St. Paul Saints ballpark is taking shape at Fifth and Broadway streets in St. Paul’s Lowertown area, as builders get ready to make the transition from concrete and steel activities to seat and sod work.

Current work includes installation of precast and cast-in-place concrete, steel erection, and mechanical and electrical rough in, according to Brad Meyer, spokesman for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Within the next six weeks, crews will begin to install light poles, seats, and the playing field sod for the 7,000-seat ballpark, which is on schedule to open in time for the 2015 baseball season, Meyer noted.

Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. US Inc. is the project’s builder and architect of record. Ryan’s team includes Snow Kreilich Architects (design architect), AECOM (sport architect) and TRI Construction (construction management partner).

The ballpark is under construction on the 9.7-acre former Diamond Products factory site. The property had significant contamination from its previous uses, including coal gas manufacturing.

Last week, the minor league baseball team played its last game at Midway Stadium, which will be torn down.

The city’s port authority plans to team with Bloomington-based United Properties on a new $15 million, 190,000-square-foot industrial building at the 12.77-acre Midway Stadium property on Energy Park Drive, as reported by Finance & Commerce in June.