When the City of Saint Paul and Minnesota United FC announced plans for a soccer stadium on a 35-acre brownfield site at Snelling and University Avenue, Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) saw an opportunity to demonstrate stormwater innovation for thousands of District and metro area residents.
Prior to stadium construction, all stormwater runoff from the site was untreated and flowed directly to the Mississippi River. The site’s highly urbanized location, contamination and lack of permeable surfaces have contributed to sediment and nutrient impairments in the river. With the success of green infrastructure improvements to the adjacent Green Line light rail corridor, CRWD sought similar practices at the new stadium and its surrounding site.
The City of Saint Paul has strived to install shared, stacked green infrastructure (SSGI) to help achieve redevelopment goals for density, sustainability and vibrant spaces.
The SSGI approach to green infrastructure treats stormwater from multiple parcels with shared practices that utilize landscape features or natural processes to provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
The City of Saint Paul, Minnesota United FC and site owners RK Midway proposed construction of innovative green infrastructure practices for the project. These improvements include comprehensive rainwater and stormwater capture and reuse systems, as well as tree trenches and rain gardens to help improve water quality, reduce use of potable water supplies and enhance the city’s tree canopy to reduce urban air temperatures and improve air quality.
Completed in spring 2019, the soccer stadium uses reclaimed water from rooftop runoff to irrigate the three-quarter-acre park north of the stadium, site trees and other green spaces. Upon full reconstruction of the entire site and connections to the comprehensive rainwater capture and reuse system, upwards of 2 million gallons of water per year can be conserved. The SSGI approach to the project will also help achieve greater density on the site, consistent with long-range plans for the community, making the Snelling Midway redevelopment the centerpiece of a revitalized urban neighborhood.