Metro Millers

Metro Millers, LLC plans to build a stadium adjacent to Canterbury Park.

Funding for the Metro Millers stadium, a proposed minor-league baseball stadium in Shakopee, is “on hold” due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the goal is still to open the arena by 2022 “assuming the vaccination goes as planned,” according to Steve Becher, CEO of the Metro Millers.

The proposed stadium would house 1,140 luxury club seats, 3,092 priority club seats, 1,880 grand stand seats and 1,000 spots for viewers to watch in the grass. It would also house soccer, lacrosse, BMX racing, concerts, hockey games and other events. The structure would be built with the possibility of adding a dome roof, but the plans do not currently include a dome structure.

The Metro Millers’ namesake — the Minneapolis Millers — used to be a minor league baseball team akin to the St. Paul Saints.

Becher said while large groups will likely be able to gather with certainty by 2022, much of the private investors are nervous to pull the trigger due to the uncertainty of the economy and the rollout of the vaccine.

Becher said the stadium would likely need adequate funding by the fall in order to open in 2022.

“So if the fundraising takes five, six months, we may have to push it (the opening) off to 2023.”

Becher said sometime in January or February, he anticipates an “attitude change” among investors when they see the effectiveness of the vaccine.

In August, Becher told the Valley News the stadium had moved away from a public crowdfunding site called MnVest — which essentially allows Minnesota residents to buy stock in private businesses — after it only received $7,000 of its $600,000 goal.

Instead, the stadium will seek about $800,000 in private funding through corporate sponsors and naming rights. From there, the Metro Millers will need to acquire about $35 million in bonds, Becher told the Valley News in August.

The proposed stadium would be built adjacent to Canterbury Park; something that Becher said attracted him to the project.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.

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