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Ice arena proposed in St. Paul

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — St. Paul wants to build an ice arena across the street from the Xcel Energy Center. But first, the city needs the state of Minnesota to forgive a loan.

Bills introduced Monday in the Legislature call for about $33 million in loan forgiveness, which the city would put into the arena. The bill also would allow the city to issue up to $40 million in bonds to help finance the project.

The project — called the Pond — would be a single sheet of ice housed in a three-story building with seating for up to 4,000 people. Construction is estimated to cost between $35 million and $40 million.

The proposed arena would give the Minnesota Wild a place to practice. The arena also could host amateur ice hockey and figure skating events.

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Even though the state and the city face budget deficits, St. Paul officials say the project would create 200 jobs and bring in more money.

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