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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Twins & Gophers will get their stadiums

    Posted on Fri, May. 19, 2006

    [size=18px]Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position[/size]

    BRIAN BAKST
    Associated Press


    ST. PAUL - The Legislature geared up for a Saturday stadium doubleheader after negotiators signed off on financing plans for the Minnesota Twins and University of Minnesota football team.

    Leaders predicted approval of the new stadiums for the current Metrodome roommates. The Twins bill will attract at least 80 House votes out of a possible 134, Speaker Steve Sviggum said. The 67-member Senate is also expected to have votes to spare.

    The Twins, who are playing on a year-to-year lease, would get a $522 million ballpark. The Gophers would get a $248 million stadium on the Minneapolis campus. The Vikings must wait until next year to press their stadium case.

    For the Twins, it represents the culmination of a decade-long hunt for stadium support. Their 42,000-seat stadium would be built in downtown Minneapolis, with natural grass and no roof. Since 1982, the Twins have played on artificial turf beneath the Metrodome's Teflon lid.

    "We are closer than we've ever been to getting this thing done once and for all," said Rep. Brad Finstad, R-New Ulm, the stadium bill's House sponsor.

    Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he is ready to sign the bill if the Legislature passes it.

    "We don't want to lose our Minnesota Twins," he said. "For a lot of Minnesotans that would be like losing fishing."

    The Twins proposal relies on a Hennepin County sales tax amounting to three cents on every $20 purchase. It would be enacted without a voter referendum. Twins owner Carl Pohlad would kick in $130 million.

    Major construction probably wouldn't begin until 2007, with the stadium slated to open for the 2010 season.

    Twins Sports Inc. president Jerry Bell said he can finally see daylight after fighting so hard for so long public subsidies.

    "It's like winning the World Series, you don't know what to say," he said.

    Dann Dobson, a stadium tax opponent, said critics won't go down without a fight. "We will look into legal options," he said.

    The Gophers hope to begin moving roads this summer to make room for the 50,000-seat stadium.

    The deal came together after Democratic senators dropped their proposal that would have created a new sports memorabilia tax to help pay for the stadium. Another big step was the reduction in a proposed student fee from $50 a year to $25.

    The only audible dissent came from Sen. Mee Moua, DFL-St. Paul, who complained about the fee.

    "We have students being compelled to pay a student fee who may not ever attend a game," she said.

    University president Robert Bruininks said student government leaders have endorsed the fee.

    "I do not think it is unreasonable for students to pay some modest fee as a contribution to the stadium initiative," Bruininks said. "They did back in the 1920s when Memorial Stadium was built."

    The state is poised to kick in 55 percent of the stadium cost. The money would come from the general treasury, which will elbow aside other state programs in the constant fight for state money.

    The university's share is $110.7 million, which will come from a $35 million naming-rights arrangement with TCF Financial Corp., the student fee and other donations.

    Bruininks said not all the money is in hand, but he expects legislative passage to bring "a great deal of energy to private fundraising."

    The Twins' bill contains building blocks for the Vikings, which are after a $675 million retractable roof stadium in the northern suburb of Blaine.

    Lester Bagley, a Vikings vice president, said owner Zygi Wilf is disappointed that he missed out on approval of the stadium.

    "We'll take a breather and charge forward," Bagley said.


    Brian Bakst can be reached at [email protected]

    Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    Posted on Fri, May. 19, 2006

    [size=18px]Stadium bill highlights[/size]

    The Associated Press
    Associated Press


    LOCATION: Minneapolis Warehouse District, on a current parking lot behind the Target Center.

    SIZE: 42,000 seats - 12,000 of which would be between 1st and 3rd bases.

    COST: $522 million - $390 million for the ballpark, the rest for needed infrastructure.

    WHO PAYS: A 0.15 percent Hennepin County sales tax would cover three-fourths of the cost; Twins owner Carl Pohlad would pay $130 million.

    WHO GAINS: The Twins get all game-day revenue and proceeds from naming rights and in-stadium advertising deals. If Pohlad sells the team, the public would get 18 percent of the gross sale price once construction commences; the share declines to zero percent over 10 years.

    TIMELINE: Major construction would begin next year; the ballpark would open in 2010. The lease would run 30 years.

    OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Assuming the Vikings get a new stadium and the Metrodome is sold, Hennepin County and Minneapolis each get $5 million from that sale. Also, some of the sales tax proceeds can be used for county library and youth sports programs, beginning at $2 million a year.


    GOPHERS STADIUM

    LOCATION: Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, near Williams and Mariucci arenas.

    SIZE: 50,000 seats - expandable to 80,000 in the future.

    COST: $248 million, including infrastructure.

    WHO PAYS: 55 percent would come from the state and the rest from university donors, a $25 a year student fee and a $35 million naming-rights deal with TCF Bank.

    WHO GAINS: The university expects it will generate more money to help run all athletic programs at the school.

    TIMELINE: Major construction would start this summer; the stadium would open for the 2009 season.

    OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: The state would acquire rights to 2,840 acres of university-owned land in Dakota County. The undeveloped land was deeded to the university by the U.S. military in 1947.

    Stadium bill highlights

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  3. #3
    Aberration's Avatar
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    Yes!!! finally a great place to see a baseball game... unless it rains. Also a stadium to make the U more fun to go to for school and for football... too bad its a couple years too late. It would have been nice to see the vikes get a stadium but hopefully next year they can find a way to get a retractable roof and maybe raise the metrodome and put it in its place. The vikes need a stadium as they are last in revenue despite selling out every game but this is such a football town its nice to see the others pass.

  4. #4
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    Approve and build them all at the same time. Get it over with.

  5. #5
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    oh its never done... Target center is one of the oldest in the league.. haha good thing they are smart enough to not ask for anything other than improvements

  6. #6
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    BASTARDS!!!!!

  7. #7
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    LOCATION: Minneapolis Warehouse District, on a current parking lot behind the Target Center.
    :scratch: Isn't that Rapid Park?

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  8. #8
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    "singersp" wrote:
    12,000 of which would be between 1st and 3rd bases.


    is that alot?

  9. #9
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    Good good.. The sooner these go through, the sooner the legislature can concentrate on moving the Vikings out of the Metrodome and into the Northern Lights.

    Then the Timberwolves can move and the whole cycle can start again in 2020!

    :grin:

  10. #10
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    isn't the target centre in good condition? guess thats the way things are now. seems like stadiums only last 20 years now before they need to get replaced.

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