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How Minnesota Developed Its First Sustainable Sports Stadium

City residents and visitors to Saint Paul are watching with anticipation as Minnesota’s first purpose-built stadium for professional soccer rises from a former retail and industrial site at the corner of Snelling and University Avenues. Allianz Field and its surrounding development is one of the larger redevelopment projects in the city’s history.

Prior to stadium construction, all stormwater runoff from the site flowed to the Mississippi River without treatment. The site’s lack of permeable surfaces has contributed to river’s sediment and nutrient pollution.

To minimize the stadium’s and entire site’s environmental impact, the City, CRWD, MN United FC, and retail owner, RK Midway are designing a shared, stacked green infrastructure (SSGI) system.  This green system treats stormwater from multiple parcels with shared practices that utilize landscape features or natural processes for environmental benefit.

The green infrastructure improvements on the stadium property include:

  • Rainwater capture and reuse system to irrigate the ¾-acre park, known as the Great Lawn, immediately north of the stadium as well as trees and other green spaces;
  • Integrated tree trench system to treat runoff from streets and sidewalks; and
  • Rain gardens to treat runoff from temporary parking lots.

These stormwater improvements will help protect water quality, reduce use of potable water supplies and enhance the tree canopy to improve air quality.

The stadium is scheduled to open in spring 2019. Other key milestones for the project include:

  • Stadium construction start – late 2017
  • Tree trench system construction – July 2018 – September 2018
  • Rainwater harvesting and reuse system construction – August 2018 to September 2018
  • Underground filtration tank for pitch – July 2018
  • Substantial stadium construction completion – Winter 2019
  • First MNU FC game – April/May 2019

Learn more about the Snelling-Midway project.