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  1. #11
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    "YogidAbEAR" wrote:
    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.
    Targe Center was built in 1990.

    http://basketball.ballparks.com/

  2. #12
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    Posted on Sun, May. 21, 2006

    [size=18px]Twins land stadium after long wait[/size]

    BRIAN BAKST
    Associated Press


    ST. PAUL - In the wee hours Sunday, Minnesota lawmakers pushed through a financing plan for an open-air Twins ballpark in Minneapolis.

    For the Twins, it marks the end of an 11-year fight for public money toward an outdoor stadium. For lawmakers, it settles two of three nagging stadium problems, with the vote coming hours after the Legislature authorized an on-campus football stadium for the University of Minnesota. The football Vikings came up short this year.

    While the Gophers plan rolled up big majorities, the Twins had less room to spare for the bill allowing a Hennepin County sales tax that will pay the lion's share of the $522 million ballpark.

    "We've come away from this place with so many defeats," said Twins stadium point man Jerry Bell. "It's hard to believe."

    The vote was 71-61 in the House and 34-32 in the Senate. Bell was sure to note that the Senate total matched the jersey number of famed Twin Kirby Puckett, who died in March.

    In all, the Legislature approved $770 million worth of stadium construction, two-thirds of which would come out of the public's pockets.

    Gov. Tim Pawlenty has indicated both bills will get his signature.

    Barring any problems, the 42,000-seat Twins ballpark should be ready for the 2010 season.

    Three-quarters of the construction costs will fall on the backs of people who make purchases in Hennepin County. A 0.15 percent sales tax - three cents on a $20 purchase - will take effect without a referendum typically required of local sales taxes.

    Twins owner Carl Pohlad will pay $130 million, but the team will get all game-day revenue and in-stadium advertising proceeds. The team's annual revenue is estimated to grow by at least $40 million.

    "It should be called the `We-get-every-benefit, you-get-every-liability bill,'" complained Sen. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater.

    A judge ruled in February that the Twins aren't required to play in the Metrodome beyond this season. Lawmakers felt pressure to act, fearing major league baseball would eventually permit relocation or dismantle the low-revenue franchise.

    "If you don't want to keep the Twins and are anti-Twins vote against it," said Sen. Dick Day, R-Owatonna.

    Saturday night in the House, Republican Rep. Ron Erhardt described it as the "most incredible exercise in selfishness" by legislators from outside the state's most populous county for letting the tax slide without a ballot measure.

    "A whole bunch of people can say I'm not passing a tax on my constituents," echoed Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul. "It's the only reason it's passing this year."

    County leaders and the Twins wouldn't accept a referendum because of uncertainty over the outcome and added delays.

    Some opponents said they'd look at challenging the stadium plan in court.

    The Minnesota Vikings didn't secure a new stadium, but the Twins bill offers them hope for next year. It also gives prior authorization to an Anoka County sales tax that would help pay for a suburban football stadium if the team settles other funding details and receives another positive vote from lawmakers.

    Brian Bakst can be reached at [email protected]

    Twins land stadium after long wait

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

  3. #13
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    Posted on Sun, May. 21, 2006

    [size=18px]Pre-dawn vote gives Twins their stadium[/size]

    BY RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER
    Pioneer Press


    After hours of committee meetings, years of waiting and dozens of starts and stops, the Legislature Sunday passed a $522 million measure to build a new Minnesota Twins ballpark in Minneapolis.

    The bill will soon be on Gov. Tim Pawlenty's desk, making it a signature — which he is expected to give — away from reality.

    The Minnesota Senate, where the votes were in doubt until the pre-dawn hours, passed the measure at shortly before 5 a.m. by 34-32.

    "Kirby Puckett's number," Jerry Bell, Twins owner Carl Pohlad's chief negotiator in team's decade-long fight for public funding for a ballpark, exclaimed in reference to the 34 votes that passed the bill. "How appropriate is that?"

    He said planning for the ballpark would begin immediately.

    "We finally are going to build a ballpark," he said. "We are going to play outside on grass the way it was meant to be."

    The House passed it late Saturday night on a 71-61 vote.

    The Twins bill allows Hennepin County to levy a new sales tax of 3 cents on a $20 purchase to pay for the Warehouse District ballpark and infrastructure. Although state law requires a local referendum vote on any new sales tax, the Twins tax is exempt from that requirement.

    That was one of the reasons many opposed the measure.

    "My constituents would like to be able to vote on this," said Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis. And she warned her colleagues that their counties' residents might be the next on the block to have a new sales tax imposed without a chance to vote. "Once this passes, just wait — you'll be the next one."

    She and 23 other Senate members voted to send the bill back to the joint House-Senate conference committee that crafted it. But a majority voted to keep the measure alive at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, urged her colleagues not to vote against the Twins.

    "To send this back for another round is the wrong thing to do. It will kill it," said Rosen, one of the 42 who voted not to send the bill back.

    The Senate Sunday morning voted upon a very different stadium measure than it had passed earlier this month. That bill included a seven-county referendum for a new sales tax of 10 cents on a $20 purchase to finance a Twins stadium, a Vikings stadium and billions of dollars for transit.

    Senators Sunday approved a measure that does away with the referendum, limits the new sales tax to Hennepin County, and does not fund transit.

    That caused some consternation Sunday.

    "I think the action regarding the referendum and the transit piece were sly…and I'm extremely disappointed," said Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley.

    The Twins package does make a nod to the Vikings bid for a stadium but doesn't grant them a full legislative go ahead. Instead, it says that the Legislature may act more fully on the football team's bid in the future and gives Anoka County, the chosen site for a new Vikings stadium, the same exemption from sales taxes Hennepin County received to build the Twins stadium.

    The Vikings had worked hard for full stadium building rights this year and even brought National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers. Tagliabue dangled the possibility of another Minnesota Super Bowl but lawmakers decided this was not the Vikings year.

    For all the difficulty stadium debates have entailed over the last decade the one-hour Senate debate was fairly restrained. Senators were physically tired, having arrived at work 18 hours before their vote.

    "It's time to do this," said Sen. Dick Day, the Republican Minority Leader of the vote. "For ten years (the Twins) have been coming to us and they've put together a really good package."

    Rachel E. Stassen-Berger can be reached at [email protected] Patrick Sweeney contributed to this report.

    Pre-dawn vote gives Twins their stadium

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

  4. #14
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    Posted on Sun, May. 21, 2006

    [size=18px]LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP: Gophers stadium reaches end zone; Twins on deck[/size]

    House and Senate authorize spending for football stadium

    By Brian Bakst
    Associated Press


    ST. PAUL - College football will return to the University of Minnesota campus in a state-of-the-art stadium approved Saturday by the Legislature.

    The House and Senate authorized spending for the stadium on lopsided votes. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has pledged his support.

    Action on the Gophers stadium preceded final votes on a ballpark plan for the Minnesota Twins, which was awaiting evening consideration. Both teams now play in the Metrodome.

    The Gophers financing plan commits the state to 55 percent of the $248 million cost, an amount that caused some legislators to flinch. But sentiment was decidedly positive.

    "Big Ten football should be played outside," said Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina. "Big Ten football should be played on campus."

    In the House, Rep. Ron Abrams called it "one of the flagship issues this Legislature has dealt with in the 2006 session."

    The Senate vote was 43-24. The House vote was 96-37.

    University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks watched the debate from the House gallery with his wife, Susan Hagstrum, Gophers athletics director Joel Maturi and other stadium supporters. They chuckled when the university's rouser was played back during the discussion.

    After the vote, Bruininks said, "To me, it allows us to be competitive athletically but it also provides a rare opportunity to bring Minnesota together on the University of Minnesota campus."

    Top legislators predicted victory for the Twins as well.

    Critics of the Twins bill got in some final swipes during a small protest outside of Pawlenty's official state residence.

    Some held signs warning supportive lawmakers that their votes would haunt them in November's elections. "Your Next Office - Unemployment," read one.

    Minneapolis auto mechanic Dave Bicking said the 0.15 percent sales tax in Hennepin County should have at least been subject to a referendum. The tax - three cents on a $20 purchase - would pay for three-quarters of the $522 million ballpark in downtown Minneapolis.

    "It's not the end," Bicking said. "It's the beginning of a new stage where we hold some of them accountable."

    Before House and Senate lawmakers weighed in Saturday, a committee working on the tax bill provided some high drama on the stadium front. They nearly attached an amendment to that bill allowing for a petition-driven referendum on the Hennepin County tax. Sen. Mee Moua, DFL-St. Paul, switched her vote at the last minute, killing the measure.

    Other critics said Twins owner Carl Pohlad was getting a sweetheart deal, paying $130 million toward the stadium but gaining all game-day revenue and in-stadium advertising proceeds.

    At least one opponent said he would explore legal options for blocking the stadium.

    Passions run high on the other side, too. St. Paul resident Dave Baker interrupted his jog to criticize the protesters, provoking a brief shouting match.

    "If we would have built it 10 years ago, it would have been half the cost," he said.

    If approved, the open-air, 42,000-seat Twins ballpark would be ready for the 2010 season.

    That's none to soon for Twins players and coaches.

    "The Metrodome has served its purpose but it's outdated and not really a baseball park," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "This stadium is going to be real good for a lot of people. People like the outdoors in Minnesota."

    The Gophers stadium would be ready for the 2009 season. It would end a 25-year hiatus of college football from the university campus. Memorial Stadium was torn down after the university moved its games to the Metrodome in 1982.

    When interest on the debt is figured in, the state's share adds up to about $10.25 million a year - or $1.7 million a game for the next 25 years.

    The university will cover the 45 percent of the stadium through a $35 million naming-rights deal with TCF Bank, other private donations and a student fee of $25 a year.

    Sen. Jane Ranum, DFL-Minneapolis, said state priorities for the university were misplaced because lawmakers didn't approve a bioscience research initiative the school sought.

    "You cannot say that one is your top priority but only get the funding for the stadium," she said. "Look at a person's checkbook and that's where you can see their values."

    The Metrodome's third tenant, the Minnesota Vikings, fell short in a stadium bid. Team officials say they'll ask lawmakers to sign off on a suburban football stadium next year.

    Gophers stadium reaches end zone

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

  5. #15
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    "YogidAbEAR" wrote:
    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.
    The :grin: was supposed to signify I was joking, but you make a good point.. It seems now that we're in a never-ending cycle with regards to teams wanting new stadiums. Especially in Minnesota where you have an NHL franchise, an NBA franchise, an NFL franchise, and a Big 10 college all demanding new stadiums..

    But hopefully once the Vikings stadium is built (by 2010 or 2011 hopefully) Minnesota will be set for its' franchises and their facilities for the following 20 years or so. Think about it; the Twins will have a state-of-the-art baseball stadium, the Timberwolves already have the Target Centre*, the Wild have the Excel Centre*, the Gophers will have their on-campus stadium, and the Vikes will have the Northern Lights!

    * = I've been to the Target Centre, the Metrodome and the Excel Centre. I have to say I was most impressed by the Excel Centre, that is one top-class facility!

  6. #16
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    "Benet" wrote:
    "YogidAbEAR" wrote:
    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.
    The :grin: was supposed to signify I was joking, but you make a good point.. It seems now that we're in a never-ending cycle with regards to teams wanting new stadiums. Especially in Minnesota where you have an NHL franchise, an NBA franchise, an NFL franchise, and a Big 10 college all demanding new stadiums..

    But hopefully once the Vikings stadium is built (by 2010 or 2011 hopefully) Minnesota will be set for its' franchises and their facilities for the following 20 years or so. Think about it; the Twins will have a state-of-the-art baseball stadium, the Timberwolves already have the Target Centre*, the Wild have the Excel Centre*, the Gophers will have their on-campus stadium, and the Vikes will have the Northern Lights!

    * = I've been to the Target Centre, the Metrodome and the Excel Centre. I have to say I was most impressed by the Excel Centre, that is one top-class facility!
    How many times have you been to Minnesota Benet?

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

  7. #17
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    Re: Twins, Gopher stadium bills move into scoring position

    "singersp" wrote:
    How many times have you been to Minnesota Benet?
    Twice.. I studied at Minnesota State at Moorhead for 5 months in 2003, then came back for 2 weeks in the summer of 2004 to visit my-then long-distance girlfriend.

    But I was fortunate in that I managed to manipulate the English student-loans system, and that coupled with the favourable exchange rates between the dollar and the British pound meant I was able to see a Vikes game (Seahawks at Vikings 17/12), a Timberwolves game (Nuggets at Timberwolves 18/11) and a Wild game (Flames at Wild 12/9), all in 2003.

    And then I saw the 49ers lose to the Falcons on the opening day of the 2004 NFL season at 3Com Park when my girlfriend and I went to San Fran for a long weekend while I was with her.

    :grin:

  8. #18
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    Re: Twins & Gophers will get their stadiums

    Thanx Benet. Hope you can make it to anothe Vikings game soon.

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

  9. #19
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    Re: Twins & Gophers will get their stadiums

    "singersp" wrote:
    Thanx Benet. Hope you can make it to anothe Vikings game soon.
    That's the plan.. Need to get my driving licence, get a decent job and get my own place first! :razz:

  10. #20
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    Re: Twins & Gophers will get their stadiums

    "Benet" wrote:
    "singersp" wrote:
    Thanx Benet. Hope you can make it to anothe Vikings game soon.
    That's the plan.. Need to get my driving licence, get a decent job and get my own place first! :razz:
    I guess those should be 1st priorities.

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

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