ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The St. Paul City Council has approved spending $18.4 million on infrastructure improvements around a proposed Major League Soccer stadium for Minnesota United.

While the $150 million stadium would be privately funded, the public money would go toward new sidewalks, plaza areas and parking, among other projects. The Star Tribune and Pioneer Press report the council approved the spending 5-2 Wednesday night after a public hearing.

The stadium in St. Paul's Midway area would sit on vacant land overlooking Interstate 94. Minnesota United owner William McGuire has said he expects to begin construction by June 1, provided the state Legislature approves a tax exemption for the site.

Mayor Chris Coleman issued a statement praising the vote and saying the stadium will usher in economic growth and development.

Some critics expressed concerns about potential cost overruns.

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