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February 18, 2005

Pepper! with Stick and Ball Guy

Welcome Stick and Ball Guy readers! Today I am featured on SBG's great site in another edition of the popular Pepper! franchise invented by SBG. I am honored and I thank him for asking me to participate. Those of you that know me probably know that only being able to write 50 words on stadium issues is literally painful for me. So, I have to take this opportunity to let it out on my own site. This is something I wrote before, but it spells out how I feel quite nicely. It talks a lot about the Twins stadium, but I feel the same way about a Vikings stadium too.

I created the Greet Machine out of frustration; frustration with the lack of news about stadiums and the lack of commentary on the news. And of course, frustration with the lack of progress on the issue of stadiums in Minnesota. I think I even badgered the Twins Geek to write about stadiums more before I decided I would just have to do it myself. I am desperate for a new Twins stadium and I track the issue religiously. If you want to keep up with stadium news, then you have come to the right place.

For some of my long time readers, these next few paragraphs are going to sound like somewhat of a broken record, but I gotta let it all out. Repeat after me: the Twins will not play in the Metrodome forever. Again: the Twins will not play in the Metrodome forever! We can either build a stadium, or we can accept the fate of the Expos and their fans as our own. It is as simple as that.

I know what you are thinking, why should we build a stadium for billionaire owners and millionaire players? To that I would say: change your focus. Rich people are rich. Now, get over it. I couldn't care less how much money Carl Pohlad has. What I care about is bringing my kids to a Twins game on a sunny day. I care about maintaining a Minnesota tradition that goes back to 1961. I care about keeping fresh the memories of '87 and '91 and the memories of how those two years brought more excitement to the Twin Cities than I have ever seen. More importantly, I care about creating new memories for me, my kids, my grandkids, heck the entire Upper Midwest for that matter. The Twins are a big part of Minnesota history. Why don't we want to assure that they are a big part of Minnesota's future?

Here is the way I see it. If we don't build a stadium the Twins will leave, they will be contracted, somehow they will be no more, at least in Minnesota. MLB will decide that the Twin Cities market is no longer viable (10 years of stadium battles and consistently ranking in the bottom 1/4 regarding attendance will have that effect), and the Pohald family will cash out. Finally the stadium battle will be over and we will really stick it to the Pohalds! They won't get a dime out of us! However, the net effect of this inevitability is that the Pohlads will be richer, and millions of fans throughout the upper Midwest will be without the Twins. Pohlad will be millions of dollars richer, and poor schlobs like me will have jack squat. How is this a good deal?

Here is an even greater inevitability, though. How many years will it be before we try to lure another MLB team to the Twin Cities? 5? 10? 20? You know eventually it will happen and it will cost us 5, 10, 20 times as much as it would right now to just keep the team we already have! Don't believe me? How many years was it before we lured NHL hockey back to the Twin Cities after the North Stars left? 7 years. And it cost us a whole lot more than it would have to just keep the North Stars. If the Twins leave, let the countdown begin. And to the legislators who fought against a Twins stadium I will say thanks for literally costing Minnesotans tens-of-millions of dollars extra. Great job. And speaking of great jobs, building a stadium 5 years ago would have saved us at least $200 million. The longer we wait, the more it will cost.

OK, what about money for education, or the police, or the myriad of other needs Minnesota has? In the 10 years we have been fighting against building a new Twins stadium how much extra money have any of these needs received as a result of us not building a new stadium? That's right: nothing, nada, zip. In other words, given the choice between inadequately funding education and building a new stadium, or just inadequately funding education, I will take the former every time. For 10 years we have decided that we would rather make excuses than actually solve problems. I've heard them all before: not with a deficit, not in an election year, not with Pohlad as the owner, not with the economic disparity in baseball ... Bah! We talk and make excuses, and yet the problem is still here! I pray this year will be different. Over 30 other cities have figured out how to make this work. Over 30!!!! Repeat after me: the Twins will not play in the Metrodome forever!

Truly, I could go on and on. Again, if you are a stadium nutjob like me, then you have come to the right place. If not, hopefully I can convince you otherwise. And if you are here to tell me why I am wrong, save your breath. It is time to work something out. We have studied, we have dissected, we have beat this issue to death. Let's save ourselves a lot of money in the long run and finally solve this problem!

Does this mean that I don't think Pohlad or Fowler should also make a significant contribution to their own ballparks? No, of course not. After following this problem for 10 years I am convinced that both Pohlad and Fowler need to open their wallets like never before to finally get the legislature to move on this issue. But don't expect Pohlad or Fowler to foot the entire bill. It just won't happen. We need to come to this realization and finally come up with a plan. If we don't, we can wave the Twins and Vikings goodbye.

Posted by snackeru at February 18, 2005 8:02 AM | Stadiums

Comments

Tell us how you really feel Shane.

ESPN recently released it's sportsnation team rankings (which I'm sure you are aware of). The Packers ranked 8th overall and #1 in stadium experience, 7th in affordability and 3rd in fan relations. Packer President Bob Harlan attributed this to the newly renovated Lambeau Field.

Its just another example of how the stadium is working, as we told the voters, and keeping this franchise healthy, he said.

And no, nobody is sad the stadium got a multi-million dollar overhaul.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at February 18, 2005 8:48 AM

You don't think you could throw down a gauntlet like this and not get my attention, did you Shane? *grin*

For starters, I'm not going to repeat after you that the Twins are not going to play in the Metrodome forever, because it's just ludicrous to say that. Yes, I realize I'd be making a statement nearly as ludicrous by pointing out that the Red Sox have played in Fenway Park 'forever' and that the Chicago Cubs have played in Wrigley Field 'forever', so why can't the Twins keep playing in the Dome? But let's take a look at clubs and their 'ballpark histories', shall we?

Angels - played their first season (1961) in Wrigley Field in LA, home of the Pacific Coast League LA Angels (also owned by Mr. Wrigley), then played in Dodger Stadium for four seasons before moving into Anaheim Stadium in 1966. Moved into Edison International Field in 1997.

# of constructed ballparks: 2
longest tenure in one ballpark: 31 seasons

Diamondbacks - have played in Bank One Ballpark for their entire history, starting in 1998.

# of constructed ballparks: 1
longest tenure in one ballpark: 7 seasons (current)

Braves - moved to Atlanta in 1966 and began playing in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Moved to Turner Field in 1997. (Added note: had a park build for them in 1953 in Milwaukee, but left anyway - County Stadium became the home of the Brewers, see below.)

# of constructed ballparks: 2
longest tenure in one ballpark: 31 seasons

Orioles - moved to Baltimore in 1954 after having previously been the St. Louis Browns and began playing in Memorial Stadium. Moved into Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992, generally considered to be the start of the current stadium construction era.

# of constructed ballparks: 2
longest tenure in one ballpark: 38 seasons

Cubs - the Cubs became the Cubs in 1903, but continued to play in the same park they'd been in since 1894, West Side Park, as the Colts and then the Orphans (!). Moved into Wrigley Field in 1916.

# of constructed ballparks: 2
longest tenure in one ballpark: 89 seasons (current)

White Sox - began playing in South Side Park in 1901, moved into Comiskey Park during the 1910 season. Moved into 'New Comiskey' in 1991, which was subsequently renamed U.S. Cellular Field in 2003.

# of constructed ballparks: 3
longest tenure in one ballpark: 81 seasons

Reds - joined the National League in 1890, playing in League Park in Cincinnati, which was either renovated or rebuilt in 1894. Moved to the Palace of the Fans (best name for a ballpark ever!) in 1902, but was torn down in 1911 so that Crosley Field could be built on the same site. The Reds continued to play in Crosley until they moved into Riverfront Stadium during the 1970 season, then played there though the 2002 season (the park was renamed Cinergy Field in 1997) when they moved into the Great American Ball Park.

# of constructed ballparks: 5
longest tenure in one ballpark: 58 seasons
second longest tenure in one ballpark: 32 seasons

Indians - played in League Park as an inaugural member of the American League in 1901, inheriting the place from the Spiders - the park was either renovated or rebuilt in 1910. The club split time between League Park and Cleveland Municipal Stadium (aka - The Mistake By The Lake, built in 1932 in a failed attempt to attract the Olympics), and finally moved into CMS full-time starting with the 1947 season. Moved into Jacobs Field in 1994.

# of constructed ballparks: 1 or 2, depending on your definition
longest tenure in one ballpark: anywhere from 47 to 62 seasons, depending on your definition

Rockies - played in Mile High Stadium for their first two seasons of operation while waiting for Coors Field to open in 1995.

# of constructed ballparks: 1
longest tenure in one ballpark: 10 seasons (current)

Tigers - an inaugural member of the American League, the Tigers played in Bennett Park in 1901 until 1912, when the park was torn down to build Navin Field, renamed Briggs Stadium in 1938, and finally renamed Tiger Stadium in 1961. The club moved into Comerica Park in 2000.

# of constructed ballparks: 2
longest tenure in one ballpark: 88 seasons

Marlins - have played in the same stadium since their inaugural 1993 season, first known as Joe Robbie Stadium, then Pro Player Stadium, and now Dolphins Stadium.

# of constructed ballparks: 1 (sorta)
longest tenure in one ballpark: 12 seasons

Astros - played in Colt Stadium* as the Colt .45s from 1962 through 1964, then renamed the Astros when moving into the Astrodome for the 1965 season. Moved into Enron Field in 2000 (but were not renamed the 'Power Brokers' when doing so, ironically), which was renamed Minute Maid Park in 2002 following the subsequent mess involving Enron.

* - the stadium was not actually destroyed - it was 'dismantled' and moved to Gomez Palacio in Mexico where it became the home park of a Mexican League team

# of constructed ballparks: 3
longest tenure in one ballpark: 35 seasons

Royals - played in Municipal Stadium (former home of the Kansas City A's) from 1969 through 1972 before moving into Royals Stadium for the 1973 season. The park was renamed Kauffman Stadium during the 1993 season.

# of constructed ballparks: 1
longest tenure in one ballpark: 32 seasons (current)

Dodgers - moved to Los Angeles in 1958 and played in the LA Memorial Coliseum through the 1961 season. Have played in Dodger Stadium ever since.

# of constructed ballparks: 1
longest tenure on one ballpark: 44 seasons (current)

Brewers - Originally the Seattle Pilots (immortalized in the book 'Ball Four' by Jim Bouton), the team moved to Milwaukee in 1970 and took over Milwaukee County Stadium (see Braves above), where they stayed until 2001 with the opening of Miller Park.

# of constructed ballparks: 1
(Sicks' Stadium in Seattle, where the club played in 1969, was the former home of the Seattle Indians of the Pacific Coast League. It's now the site of a Lowe's Home Improvement Center.)
longest tenure in one ballpark: 31 seasons

Expos/Nationals - Les Expos began their baseballing in Jarry Park in 1969, a municipal stadium that still stands today and hosts tennis among other sports. The club moved into the Stade Olympique (Olympic Stadium) in 1977. For the past two seasons, the club has also called Hiram Bithorn Stadium a 'home park'. The club will play next season in RFK Stadium, but its continued operation seems contingent on an agreement for a publically-funded stadium in southern DC.

# of constructed ballparks: 1 (eventually 2)
longest tenure in one ballpark: 25 or 27 years, depending on how you want to count 2003 and 2004.

Mets - played their first two seasons at the Polo Grounds before moving into Shea Stadium in 1964.

# of constructed ballparks: 1
longest tenure in one ballpark: 41 seasons (current)

Yankees - played in the Polo Grounds from 1913 until moving into the 'house that Ruth built' in 1923. Major renovations to Yankee Stadium occurred in 1974 and 1975, during which time the Yanks played in Shea Stadium.

# of constructed ballparks: 1
longest tenure in one ballpark: 50 seasons if you consider Yankee I and Yankee II to be different ballparks, 79 seasons if not (current)

A's - Departed Kansas City for Oakland in 1968, after departing Philadelphia for Kansas City in 1955. Played in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum ever since, though the park has gone through a whirlwind of names of late, including Network Associates Coliseum and McAfee Coliseum.

# of constructed ballparks: 0
(the park was built for the Raiders in 1966, though with multi-purposing in mind)
longest tenure in one ballpark: 37 seasons (current)

Phillies - known as the Quakers before becoming the Phillies in 1890, they played in the Philadephia Baseball Grounds, though it's not clear from the little bit of research I was able to do if those were the same as the Huntington Street Baseball Grounds which eventually became the Baker Bowl. Moved into Shibe Park during the 1938 season, then into Veterans Stadium for the 1971 season. Finally, the new Citizen's Bank Park opened in 2004.

# of constructed ballparks: 4
longest tenure in one ballpark: 42 seasons
second longest tenure in one ballpark: 33 seasons (twice)

Pirates - Became the Pirates in 1891 and moved into Exposition Park, where they played until moving into Forbes Field during the 1909 season. Moved into Three Rivers Stadium during the 1970 season. Moved again into PNC Park in 2001.

# of constructed ballparks: 3 or 4, depending on how you consider Three Rivers
longest tenure in one ballpark: 61 seasons
second longest tenure in one ballpark: 31 seasons

Padres - Played in San Diego Stadium/aka Jack Murphy Stadium/aka Qualcomm Stadium starting with their inaugural 1969 season. Moved into Petco Park in 2004.

# of constructed ballparks: 1 or 2, depending on whether you consider San Diego Stadium to have been built for the existing Chargers or soon-to-be-awarded Padres.

longest tenure in one ballpark: 35 seasons

Giants - Moved to San Francisco in 1958, taking up residence in Seals Stadium for two seasons while awaiting completion of Candlestick Park (eventually renamed 3Com Park and Monster Park). Moved into PacBell Park (renamed SBC Park) in 2000.

# of constructed ballparks: 2
longest tenure in one ballpark: 40 seasons

Mariners - Started out in the Kingdome in 1977 before moving into Safeco Field in 2000.

# of constructed ballparks: 1 or 2 (see Padres, above)
longest tenure in one ballpark: 23 seasons

Cardinals - Became the Cardinals in 1900 while playing in Robison Field. Moved into Sportsman's Park during the 1920 season, which they shared with the Browns until the Browns moved to Baltimore, then served as sole tenant until moving into Busch Stadium during the 1966 season. Discussion going on regarding the construction of a new baseball stadium.

# of constructed ballparks: 1 (probably soon to be 2)
longest tenure in one ballpark: 46 seasons
second longest tenure in one ballpark: 39 seasons (current)

Devil Rays - Have played in Tropicana Field since their inaugural 1998 season.

# of constructed ballparks: 1
longest tenure in one ballpark: 7 seasons (current)

Rangers - The Rangers moved to Arlington from Washington DC in 1972 and took over what had been known as Turnpike Stadium, built as a minor league park for Dallas and Fort Worth in 1965. The Rangers played there until moving into The Ballpark at Arlington in 1994.

# of constructed ballparks: 1
longest tenure in one ballpark: 22 seasons

Blue Jays - The expansion Jays played at Exhibition Stadium, originally opened in 1879 and re-opened in 1959 for the CFL Argonauts. They moved to Skydome during the 1989 season, which is generally considered to be the end of the multi-purpose stadium era.

# of constructed ballparks: 1 or none, depending on how you count Skydome
longest tenure in one ballpark: 15 seasons (current)

And compare those to...

Twins - Moving to Minneapolis from Washington DC in 1961, the Twins played in Metropolitan Stadium (originally built for the minor-league Millers in 1956 - the owner of the NY Giants, for whom the Millers were a farm team at the time, noted that the Met "is the finest minor league park in the country, and there are not two in the majors that are better.") until 1982, when they moved into the Metrodome.

Two interesting bullet points in ballparks.com's entry for the Met:

- It was by far the most poorly maintained park in the Majors. In 1981, broken railings on the third deck overlooking the left field bleachers created a safety hazard.

- When the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome was finished, the Met became the first modern park to be abandoned.

# of constructed ballparks: none or 1, depending on how you view the Metrodome
longest tenure in one ballpark: 22 seasons (current)

The Twins have now been in the Metrodome longer than they spent in the old Met, and comparing the Twins tenure with other MLB clubs, there are few non-expansion clubs with shorter 'longest tenure' periods. Looking at the data, I'd suggest that a 'typical' MLB club spends 35 to 40 years in its 'home' park, rather than leaping from park to park every 20 to 25 seasons or so.

So, with all that being said, here are two things I'd like to see in any new publicly-funded stadium proposal:

- Meaningful provisions to ensure the Twins contribute to ballpark maintenance, so that the new park doesn't become as run-down as either the old Met or the current Dome, and
- at least a 35-year lease

If the Twins want to build their own park, of course, these provisions are meaningless.

Also, I'd like to point out that if you want to make memories with your kids and grandkids, there is no shortage of places to do that now. Take them to the Wood Lake Nature Center, or the Children's Theater, or the Science Museum. Take them to the WNBA, which is a lot more kid-friendly than MLB these days anyway. Heck, take 'em to Camp Snoopy or the new waterpark up in Brooklyn Park - they'll probably have more fun there than sitting in the stands at a baseball park any old day. Saying 'I need the public to spend hundreds of millions of dollars so I have a place to take my kids' is, well, selfish and stupid.

Finally, the Twins are a big part of Minnesota history? Really? If that's the criteria, why don't we spend a hundred million to refurbish Fort Snelling? How about a statue honoring Col. William Colvill? (And if you don't know who William Colvill is, then you don't know your Minnesota history.) How about celebrating the role of the University of Minnesota in the development of the Internet? I mean, sheesh, comparing careers, I'd have to say Mary Tyler Moore has had a better career than Kirby Puckett - and she's got a statue on Nicollet Mall, even!

I can accept that you feel passionately about 'big league' sports - but passion is not a sufficient cause for action. Some people feel passionately that we should kick out anybody who wasn't born here. Others feel passionately that everyone who lives here should be guaranteed a job, regardless of talent or temprament. Passion isn't a substitute for reason when determining if something is a good idea or not.

And, given that downtown St. Paul didn't fall into a giant sinkhole the day they cancelled the NHL season, I can't say that big-time professional sports are really all that important to a city - at least, not how they're being run right now. Give me a Richfield girl's hockey game any day of the week.

Posted by: David Wintheiser at February 18, 2005 2:14 PM

Wow David, that is an impressive body of work (at least a boatload of typing).

I would make this argument for a new stadium for the Twins: They don't have one made for baseball, which is something that all of the above franchises you mentioned at least had. The Dome was constructed with football in mind. If the Dome was constructed for baseball, then you probably would not be on this site and Shane would be a rational person and the Twins would be working on renovating the Dome to better suit their needs. Then they could be there for 40-50 years, but they can do nothing to help out their revenue from the park.

A square peg can fit into a circle hole, but that doesn't mean it's in the right place.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at February 18, 2005 3:06 PM

"I would make this argument for a new stadium for the Twins: They don't have one made for baseball, which is something that all of the above franchises you mentioned at least had."

Not true - there are at least four clubs on that list who have never had a baseball-only stadium built for them (the Marlins, Expos, Cardinals, and Blue Jays - the place the Marlins have played since day one is now officially 'Dolphins Stadium', Olympic Stadium was a multi-purpose facility built for the '72 Games in Montreal, Busch Stadium was built on precisely the same blueprint as Three Rivers and Veteran's stadiums - all of which were multi-purpose parks - and the football Cardinals played there for some years before moving to Arizona, and Skydome was the last multi-purpose stadium built with a baseball tenant [at least to my recollection]), and a handful of other clubs who've only had a baseball-only park in the past five years (the Brewers and Padres, for example - the Packers used to play a couple of 'home' games a year at County Stadium, right Craig?). Also, some of those clubs get credit for playing in a 'baseball only' park only because they had a park in the days where a 'baseball park' was a couple of bleachers thrown up at the edges of an old cornfield back around the time Benny Goodman was composing instead of decomposing. In addition, since moving to Oakland the A's have never had a stadium built expressly for them, yet they remain one of the more successful major league clubs, in one of the most competitive divisions in baseball, and have even put together a team that qualifies as a baseball dynasty (albeit at the dawn of the era of free agency.

Five of the last ten World Series were won by teams who'd been in their ballparks for seventy years or more. If I was in favor of using absurdly reductive arguments (like 'we need to give free money to Carl Pohlad because he can't make enough money from the ballpark he uses now'), I'd use that as an argument that the Twins should camp out in the Dome for another forty years and then watch the pennants roll in. If only the Tigers had waited a little longer, all of their current rebuilding heartache could have been avoided...

Posted by: David Wintheiser at February 18, 2005 5:13 PM

If I run across Jerry Bell, I'll ask him the hard questions and see what he responds. Then I'll report back to you.

Maybe it'll put a bug in his ear.

Posted by: Dianna at February 18, 2005 5:52 PM

David-
Have you not been reading the papers? Downtown St. Paul and W. 7th bars and the like are hurting bigtime since the Wild have not been playing. Ask any of these business people or the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce for that matter and I am sure you will have 100% of the answers saying that yes professional sports are important to a city.
-Jiminstpaul

Posted by: Jim in St. Paul at February 18, 2005 6:02 PM

What are you trying to say with this?

The Twins have now been in the Metrodome longer than they spent in the old Met, and comparing the Twins tenure with other MLB clubs, there are few non-expansion clubs with shorter 'longest tenure' periods.

The way you have defined the Twins "longest tenure" have made them an expansion team. How long did they play in Griffith Stadium? Of course, the Yankees and Cubs and Red Sox and Tigers and others have longer "longest tenures". What's the point? And since when does this longest tenure statistic have any relevance whatsoever? Have you been to a game at Wrigley Field? The Cubs have been playing there forever, yes, but the experience is a thousand times better than the Metrodome "experience".

Say A buys a Mercedes in 1985 and B buys a Ford Escort in 1990. A drives his Mercedes until 2000 and buys a new Lexus. B drives his Escort until 1995 and buys a new Escort. A drove his Mercedes for 15 years. B has never driven a car for 15 years. Should B replace his ten year old Escort? Let's see. A drove his Mercedes for 15 years. I guess not! Nevermind that B's Escort no longer works very well! Besides, C has been driving his mint condition and well-maintained Corvette the entire time! Hold on to that Escort, B!

Posted by: Stick and Ball Guy at February 19, 2005 12:58 PM

David--

Did you not catch the part where I said don't waste your breath? Wow. That was an epic comment. It gave me quite a chuckle. Comparing the Metrodome with Wrigley and Fenway was highly comical. Craig, Jim in St. Paul, and SBG already gave some good rebuttals so I won't add too much, however, if you think the Twins will stay in the Metrodome forever you are delusional. And passion makes the world go 'round. God forbid we all turn into people that think like you, thinking that everything has to be weighed against some sort of financial return. There is more to life than money and "sticking it" to rich people.

Posted by: Shane at February 19, 2005 2:59 PM

Jim,

Yes, I've been reading the papers, and one thing I've read is that sales tax revenues from St. Paul overall have not declined, but have in fact increased compared to last winter. If the Wild were really that significant to St. Paul's economy on the whole, that couldn't happen. And sure, there are a few bars that are struggling as a result of the lockout, but I can't really bring myself to worry too much about that - bars and restaurants go out of business every year, and spending millions of dollars in public money to keep a few open a few years longer doesn't seem like a very smart move to me.

Stick,

Sure, it's easy to say the Red Sox, Yankees, and Tigers have had longer tenures than the Twins - which is why I said right up front, "Yes, I realize I'd be making a statement nearly as ludicrous by pointing out that the Red Sox have played in Fenway Park 'forever' and that the Chicago Cubs have played in Wrigley Field 'forever', so why can't the Twins keep playing in the Dome?" The point was not to compare the Twins to the Red Sox, but to the Giants (1958 - 40 seasons), the Padres (1969 - 35 seasons), and the A's (1968 - 37 seasons); you'll notice I didn't include the Giants in New York or the A's in Philadelphia in the analysis, so the Twins tenure as the Senators isn't really germane, either. It's about teams in their current communities and the ballparks they've played in. And the Twins have been treated very well by comparison to many (though not all) of these other clubs.

And knock the Dome if you want to, but it's not the Dome that's hurting the Twins attendance - check out last year's attendance numbers and you'll see that the Twins ranked much higher in home attendance than they did in road attendance.

Your 'Escort' analogy was humorous, but a more accurate analogy would have been to have the Escort driver go to his neighbors and get them to buy him a new Lexus - as I've said many times, if the Twins or Vikes want to build their own stadium (and they wouldn't be the first to do this), they can spend as much money as they like.

Shane,

When I first arrived, you seemed interested in trying to figure out why someone would be opposed to stadium construction and actually solicited my comments. Not sure what's changed, but if you want the Greet Machine to just be a place where you and your cronies band together to whine about how stadiums aren't getting done, feel free.

But if you think a stadium is going to get done in this state when people who "think like me" continue to be the majority of voters and taxpayers, well, then you'd better get used to being disappointed. Otherwise, you'd be better served trying to find a way to get people who "think like me" to understand and support your arguments, rather than just trotting out the same old lame, tired whines over and over again.

Posted by: David Wintheiser at February 20, 2005 7:45 PM

David, I personally like you here. You should see what you do to Shane, it's great (living next door I get to see the physical reactions). My view is rather skewed on this issue as 1- I hate domes as sporting venues for baseball and football (I'll let the NBA and NHL play inside I guess), so therefore I want the Dome to serve it's purpose, and implode. 2- I'm from WI and my teams are all set, so I don't have too much emotion in this debate.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at February 21, 2005 8:45 AM

David, I can't figure you out. You hammer away at all of our opinions, sometimes in a very condescending tone, and yet when I dish it back you claim I am somehow not interested in finding a solution. You once called my best friend a "jock sniffer"! Listen, if you can't stand the heat then stay out of the kitchen. You are more than welcome to comment on this site. Have I ever censored you or encouraged you not to?

You say I should get used to disappointment ... oh yes, I am quite used to it. You also say, "You'd be better served trying to find a way to get people who 'think like me' to understand and support your arguments, rather than just trotting out the same old lame, tired whines over and over again." How are my same old lame, tired whines any different than yours? Are you trying to understand my viewpoints better? I am certainly trying to understand yours. I hate to say it, but it seems like this is a one way street: your way or nothing. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work like that. I'm interested in finding a solution and I'll take whatever solution will finally work. You are interested in only one solution, and that obviously hasn't worked for 10 years.

And if all of this stems from me telling you to "save your breath" I was just kidding around! Sheesh, you've got to lighten up a little.

Posted by: Shane at February 21, 2005 9:05 AM

The Metrodome was an abomination for baseball from day one. The first game that I saw in the Metrodome made me realize how terrible a place it was. I was sitting down the first base line and looking directly at left field. Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers were warming up and dribbling a baseball like a basketball on the turf. No kidding! Baseballs were one-hopping over the fence all the time. The issue isn't how long they've been playing there as compared to other teams, it's that the place has sucked for baseball from day one. The Twins should NEVER have played a game in that rathole. I'm not going to argue about whose fault that is.

The fact remains that the Twins are playing in an inferior ballpark. I want to go and see them in a good ballpark. And, I am willing to pay useage fees to get it done. And, I am not alone.

Furthermore, the fact that the Twins' road attendance is worse than their home attendance is not particularly relevant. For one, they play half of their road games within the Central Division, where other teams have attendance problems. In addition, the Twins may not be a big draw on the coasts. Nevertheless, interest in the Twins is at an all-time high as is evidenced by TV viewership. Yet, attendance is stagnated. Why? I can tell you that my anecdotal experience is that people will not go inside the Metrodome on a nice night in Minnesota. Period.

Posted by: Stick and Ball Guy at February 21, 2005 3:01 PM

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