WHY IS THE MAC EXPANSION IMPORTANT?
Quality of life: the MAC has been an important part of countless people’s lives in St. Cloud and the region for 50 years, and it remains a critical amenity for many youth and families. People have choice in where they choose to live and, for many, access to a facility like the MAC is an important factor.
The St Cloud Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau estimates $4.4 million of economic impact, including 17,600 hotel room nights, from the eleven tournaments that they assisted in 2021.
In addition to the CVB-assisted tournaments, there were, in 2022, 7 additional tournaments or regional competitions, 11 hockey camps, 30 home games for the St. Cloud Norsemen Junior Hockey team and the 36 home games of the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League. There were also 32 high school hockey games (3 schools); seven college hockey games, 45 high school baseball games (five schools), and 15 college baseball games. Those events likely add as much economic impact as the tournaments that the CVB has documented.
Health and wellness of our community's youth: the MAC provides our community's youth the opportunity for healthy involvement in sport through the activities of schools and nonprofit organizations.
How was the project developed?
In 2016, the administration conducted an internal review of the MAC, under the guidance of the River's Edge Convention Center Advisory Board, and presented the results to the City Council. The review included commissioned research conducted by St. Cloud State University’s School of Public Affairs Research Institute. The City Planning Department conducted focus groups of MAC users. The review also drew on research done for the City’s Comprehensive Plan Update; Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and the earlier research conducted as part of the Aquatic Center project.
What will the project include?
Arena Addition: a two-story 27,000 s.f. (total) addition that will include 5 new locker rooms, dry land training space, sports medicine area, office space, storage, and meeting room;
West Lobby Addition: 9,500 s.f. adding expanded entry lobby, ticketing, business office, and restrooms
Refrigeration system replacement: the outdated R-22 system will be replaced with a modern ammonia system that is cheaper to operate and more environmentally-friendly.
Dick Putz Field replacement and artificial turf: the stadium was built in 1971 and no longer meets patron expectations or accessibility goals. Locker rooms, press box, concessions and restrooms will be to current standards. The new stadium will be designed to accommodate baseball and additional sports, such as soccer, lacrosse, and rugby.
Joe Faber Field upgrades: drainage issues will be addressed and artificial turf installed, and office space and storage added.
Mechanical and structural upgrades: the 33-year old roof will be replaced and mechanicals updated: dehumidification units, heating, sound systems, scoreboards, bleachers, ice surfacing, fire protection, and lighting.
What will the project cost?
Projected total cost is $31.1 million
Arena Addition: $13 million
West Lobby Addition: $1 million
Refrigeration: $1.9 million
Dick Putz field, including turf: $7.2 million
Joe Faber Field Upgrades, including artificial turf: $2 million
Mechanical and structural and cosmetic upgrades: $4 million
Equipment and Garage: $1 million
Professional services, fees, etc.: $1 million
Where will the money come from?
The City of St. Cloud has, for more than 40 years, borne the whole capital cost of constructing and maintaining the MAC. For that entire time, and, we hope, continuing into the future, the benefits of that investment have been shared by the State of Minnesota, through its two post-secondary institutions, and by many other jurisdictions and educational institutions. The users of the facility have always paid the great majority of the operating costs, which is proper. The time has come for the State of Minnesota to acknowledge, through its bonding authority, to shoulder a share of the cost of this premiere facility that serves the region and state so well.
State of Minnesota: $10,000,000
City of St. Cloud: $21,100,000
The community will be asked to participate in several ways: corporate and individual sponsorship, donations, and modest user fee increases.
Why not just raise the fees?
User fees already cover 96% of the operating cost of the MAC.
The City does raise fees regularly, and we monitor the fee structure at competing facilities.
Many users, especially youth sports, are nonprofit organizations that provide opportunity to youth regardless of income. We don’t want the MAC to be the preserve of the well-to-do.
Why should the State provide partial funding?
The MAC serves a regional and state-wide population.
The MAC has been the home of state tournaments, both hockey and baseball, for more than 40 years.
The MAC provides facilities that allow other governments and educational institutions to offer athletic programs without the cost of owning and operating venues.
Two Minnesota State institutions- St Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical and Community College - benefit directly.
The City of St. Cloud has never received any State support for the capital or preservation cost of this complex that serves the region and state.
The State has funded a significant number of local athletic venues in recent years. Over the last six biennia (2007-8 through 2017-18) state bonding support has gone to fourteen projects in twelve different communities that totaled more than $90 million. This does not count the $33 million State investment in the National Sports Center in Blaine or the enormous State contributions to Twin Cities professional sports facilities.
Why artificial turf?
Artificial turf fields are becoming the norm across the country.
Artificial turf allows a much longer season and greater dependability:
Earlier start in the spring, later season end in the fall;
Rainouts are far less common because turf fields drain faster than grass fields;
There is no loss of use due to “recovery time” after heavy usage of a grass field.
Artificial turf is cheaper to maintain, despite heavier use. We estimate savings of at least $20,000 per year in chemicals, fuel, equipment repair, and labor if both fields are turfed.
Artificial turf fields can accommodate multiple sports. A re-built, turfed Putz Field could be used for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, flag football, and other sports.
We surveyed usage in seven other communities for baseball use in the typical season of April through August:
Grass fields averaged 119 uses (games or practices)
Turf fields averaged 336 uses
MAC fields in 2021 saw 140 and 143 uses – above average for grass fields
Non-baseball use will add even more rental revenue, but it is not included in our estimates
Locker Room Addition Information
||5 locker rooms
||1 weight room
||1 first aid room
||224' x 40'
|(2)- 90' x 42' training &
||(3)- storage rooms