by Dan Rafter
May 21 is a big day for St. Paul and Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. US Inc. That’s when the St. Paul Saints will take the field for the first time in the new CHS Field in downtown St. Paul.
Ryan Cos. served as the design-build contractor for this $63 million baseball stadium. Earlier this spring, the company put the final touches on the 7,000-seat facility that sits at the now-rejuvenated corner of Fifth and Broadway streets in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood.
Ryan Cos. started construction on the ballpark last spring, after the 650,000-square-foot former home of Diamond Products was demolished.
The hope now is that the new field will serve as yet another economic boon to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The City of St. Paul owns the field.
The Twin Cities, of course, would be far from the first Midwest city to open a new baseball stadium in their downtown. Omaha has its TD Ameritrade Park, which serves as the host each year of the College Baseball World Series. That event brings big crowds to downtown Omaha each year.
No one knows yet what impact CHS Field will have on the Twin Cities. But what isn’t in dispute is that downtown Minneapolis/St. Paul is already thriving today. Modern apartment buildings are rising here on what feels like a daily basis. New restaurants and shops are opening in the center of the city and in its surrounding neighborhoods.
The best bet? It seems that CHS Field will be provide one more boost to an already busy city.