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  1. #1
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Dec 1969

    Ballpark bill in scoring position

    [size=18px]Ballpark bill in scoring position[/size]
    [size=18px]House panel: Hennepin County referendum not needed.[/size]
    Mike Kaszuba, Star Tribune

    The Minnesota Twins scored a major victory late Thursday when the House Taxes Committee said a sales tax could be used to help build a $522 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis without requiring a referendum.

    By a razor-thin 15-13 vote, the legislative committee opened the door to the possibility that the team's decade-old struggle to build a successor to the Metrodome may now be rolling toward overall approval at the State Capitol.

    Although the Twins proposal has other hurdles, stadium supporters shouted their approval as the vote was announced after an exhaustive and emotional public hearing in a school auditorium in Bloomington.

    "We sort of felt this was a Waterloo issue for us," said a smiling Jerry Bell, the team's lead negotiator on the stadium project.

    More at

    Vikings interested

    The Taxes Committee hearings were watched closely by Minnesota Vikings and Anoka County officials, whose $675 million proposed football stadium in Blaine is also before legislators. The Vikings stadium, like the Twins proposal, would largely be financed with a countywide sales tax, and Anoka County officials are also seeking an exemption to a state law that requires a referendum.

    Mary Capra, the mayor of Centerville in Anoka County, testified Thursday that the Twins and Vikings proposals have many similarities. "Citizens of both counties feel abandoned" by the move to not have a referendum, she said.

    The Vikings' interest in the hearings also comes as speculation builds that both stadium plans, or even all three -- including a campus football stadium for the University of Minnesota -- may be rolled into one legislative attempt to approve them at one time.

    But Rep. Andy Westerberg, R-Blaine, the chief House author of the Vikings' stadium proposal, who also sits on the Taxes Committee, said he was not sure what would happen. "We're building a lot of momentum with stadiums," he said, adding that holding the hearing in Bloomington, ostensibly to hear from stadium opponents, may have not worked. "I think that backfired," he said.

    Not having to have a referendum for the Twins stadium bodes well for the Vikings stadium because the Anoka Commission has already approved the tax hike for the new stadium.
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

    When you require nothing, you get nothing; when you expect nothing, you will find nothing; when you embrace nothing, all you will have is nothing.

  2. #2
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
    BadlandsVikings is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Ballpark bill in scoring position

    This looks like it could be very good news for both teams.

  3. #3
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Ballpark bill in scoring position

    Zygi was very smart in not pulling a Red and trying to say that the Vikings stadium was more important thatn the Twins stadium. Instead he is saying that all of the stadiums are important and need to be done. By doing this, he avoids alienating the supporters of the other two stadiums.

    Skol Zygi.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Ballpark bill in scoring position

    I would to see the Vikes get a new stadium but I would rather see a new stadium for the Twins first. I think the Metrodom is a poor stadium but it is a better football stadium than a baseball stadium.

    Hopefully both can be built and the revemues generated can feed the poor. Maybe a little optomistic, huh? The poor arre with us let us not forget them.
    We can solve poverty today.

  5. #5
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Sep 2005

    Twins ballpark clears major hurdle

    [size=18px]Twins ballpark clears major hurdle[/size]

    By Don Davis, The Forum
    Published Saturday, April 22, 2006

    ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Twins celebrated the 45th anniversary of their first Twin Cities game Friday by winning committee approval for a new ballpark.

    At least two more House committees must look at the bill before it reaches the full House, but many predict it will pass there more convincingly than the 15-13 vote in the House Taxes Committee. That committee was expected to give the bill its toughest test.

    “It’s the best (Twins) bill the Legislature has had,” said Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead.

    The Taxes Committee on Friday ended three days of testimony on the $522 million, 42,000-seat outdoor stadium proposed for downtown Minneapolis. Three-fourths of the construction cost would come from a 0.15 percent increase in Hennepin County’s sales tax.

    Friday’s meeting was back in the Capitol complex in front of a few dozen lobbyists after a Thursday night trip to a Bloomington school, where 700 rowdy spectators heard committee members vote down a proposal to require Hennepin County voters to approve the new sales tax. Stadium supporters said a public vote requirement would kill the plan.

    Morrie Lanning listens to committee testimony
    Rep. Paul Marquart
    On Friday, committee members rejected a proposal to spread the sales tax burden across all of Minnesota and require a roof be put on the ballpark.

    “I think we ought to put out a first-class stadium,” Rep. Ron Erhardt, R-Edina, said about his desire to require the Twins and Hennepin County to install a retractable roof. “As long as it’s going up, let’s do it right.”

    He also wanted all Minnesota sales to be taxed an additional cent and a half on every $20 purchase.

    “I think it is only right for the rest of the state to step up for the Minnesota Twins,” Erhardt said.

    That already happens, Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, said.

    The four-hour drive means a $50 fuel bill for his constituents, Marquart said.

    “That helps keep the ballpark going,” Marquart said. “They wouldn’t be able to survive without fans from rural Minnesota.”

    Lanning added that Hennepin County collects a 7 percent hotel tax from is constituents who stay overnight after games.

    Marquart and Lanning represent some of the Minnesotans who would have to drive farthest to games, and both are Tax Committee members.

    Rural lawmakers said their constituents strongly support a baseball stadium. But some think it should have a roof so when they drive for hours they are not greeted by a rain-out.

    Marquart and Taxes Vice Chairman Dean Simpson, R-New York Mills, said they expect continued attempts to require the Twins to include a retractable roof with the stadium.

    However, Twins Sports President Jerry Bell said a roof is not feasible for the ballpark site, behind Target Center on the edge of downtown Minneapolis.

    Lanning said on average just six games a year are canceled because of weather and a roof would cost too much.

    There is talk that even though the ballpark would be roofless, heat could be injected into the seats, Simpson said. And some seats will be covered by an overhang.

    Erhardt said he has no doubt that in a few years the Twins will be back asking for a roof.

    “Own up to what has to be done and do it,” he said.

    In the 10 years the Twins have been asking lawmakers to approve a stadium, team officials have flip-flopped on the need for a roof. At first, Bell said, they felt it was needed. But at more than $140 million, a roof priced itself out of the proposal, he added.

    Bell promised not to ask lawmakers for roof funding in the future.

    House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, said he hopes the Twins bill gets a full House vote Wednesday or Thursday.

    Sviggum said if the Legislature does not approve a stadium this year, he does not expect the Twins be in the state much longer.

    Billionaire Carl Pohlad, the Twins owner, says the Metrodome does not provide enough revenue for the team and fans do not get a good enough view of the game. He promises to pay $130 million toward a new ballpark. He also would share profits if he sells the team within a decade of a stadium being approved.

    The Senate Taxes Committee should take up the Twins next week, Chairman Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, said. Some rural senators will be key to its future, he added.

    “I would watch for Sen. (Keith) Langseth,” Pogemiller said of the Glyndon Democrat.

    Pogemiller said he plans to also take up University of Minnesota and Minnesota Vikings football stadiums. The House already has passed a bill to build a Gophers stadium, but a Vikings stadium is a long-shot in 2006.

    Readers can reach Forum reporter Don Davis at (651) 290-0707

    Twins ballpark clears major hurdle

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

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