A Tale of Two (Midway) Stadiums


(Image of first televised game at Midway Stadium - 1957 MNHS Archives)
There have been two different Midway Stadiums to grace the Energy Park drive area. The first one was built on the east side of Snelling Avenue (with a seating capacity of just over 10,000) and was home to the Saint Paul Saints baseball franchise from 1957-1960. It was built with $2 million dollars given from the city of Saint Paul as part of a $39 million dollar municipal improvement package and intended to be used to compete with Metropolitan Stadium in the south metro to bring major league baseball to the state. 

Conventional thinking was that seating at the stadium could be expanded (by adding a second and third deck) to accommodate up to 40,000 people. The problem that plagued it was that parking opportunities were few and far between and the area around the stadium was wrought with traffic jams throughout the buildings history. When the Twins came to Minnesota in 1961 (and much to the chagrin of Saint Paulites everywhere – chose the Bloomington stadium) the Saints (as well as the Minneapolis Millers) saw their popularity wane and soon after went out of business. Over the next twenty years the stadium was used to host minor events and also became a practice field for the Minnesota Vikings. Increasingly less useful and expensive to keep up, the stadium was demolished in 1981 to make room for an expansion of Energy Park Drive and additional development in the area.

The second Midway Stadium was built in 1982 for $3 million dollars (the same year as the Metrodome and its $68 million price tag) on the west side of Snelling Avenue (the initial capacity was 2,100 - that number has ballooned to a current seating capacity of roughly 6,000) and is located at 1771 Energy Park Drive. It was initially called Municipal Stadium and was used as the home for the Hamline University baseball team as well as various other sports and events. Its odd configuration is due to being designed to host football games in the fall. The name of the stadium was changed to Midway with the arrival of the new Saint Paul Saints team in 1993 (most likely as a nod to the former stadium down the street).
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