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March 31, 2005

Calling Dave St. Peter

Well, after my tirade below this morning I decided to call the Twins to see if they could shed any light on a stadium bill's chances this session. So, I called Dave St. Peter. Dave is usually very responsive to fan inquiries, but I am usually a little shy about calling him. I mean, why should he care what a single Twins fan thinks? But today I mustered up my courage and dialed his number. After two rings he picked up the phone.

He immediately asked me in a gruff tone why I was calling him. Was I a reporter? How would I be using his comments? I told him I was just a lowly blogger interested in getting a new Twins stadium built. He seemed satisfied with that. So I launched into my questions.

First I asked him if there will be a Twins bill at the state legislature this year. He told me the Twins are in a holding pattern right now and that there is still a chance. He said the imminent passage of the bonding bill is seen as a very good sign and that there may be time for a Twins bill this session. He also said the Twins are still in discussions with possible host communities and that all hope isn't lost yet. By the way, I am paraphrasing here.

OK. So, that is kind of good news, although it doesn't look like anything will be happening soon.

However, that really wasn't the main question I wanted to ask him. Although it is important to know whether or not there will be a Twins stadium bill this session there is a much more important question. If you've read this site before you probably know what question I am talking about.

So, I asked Dave given the efforts of the Florida Marlins and the Golden Gophers towards making huge contributions to their own stadiums, are the Twins also considering increasing their upfront contribution. I even said, "Will Pohlad consider paying more than $120 million considering what is happening in Florida?"

Dave responded, and again I'm paraphrasing here, that stadium negotiations are very complex and that every situation is different. Blah blah blah. That you have to fully understand the unique situation in Florida, for example, to understand why they've made the choice they have. Blah blah blah. That the Twins are still in favor of Pawlenty's plan of last year which called for the Twins paying for 1/3 of the stadium's cost. Blah blah blah!

Dave also said, "How can we even talk about a contribution when we don't have a deal in place? We need a deal before we can know how much the Twins should contribute." I am stunned with this reasoning. It is like a chicken and egg type of argument. Without a "deal" the Twins refuse to make any promises, but without any promises the legislature refuses to pass a workable stadium bill.

Wouldn't it work better if the Twins said, "We agree to contribute $200 million." Wouldn't the legislature feel better about negotiating in the first place?

After I basically heard Dave St. Peter say that no, the Twins are not considering increasing their contribution I thanked him for his time and for answering my questions and I hung up. However, I am far from satisfied. It is apparent that even if there is a Twins stadium bill this session it will go absolutely nowhere, just like all the others for the past 10 years.

Quite truthfully I am disgusted with this whole mess. The legislature can't seem to do anything right, and the Twins refuse to help themselves.

I give up.

Posted by snackeru at March 31, 2005 12:39 PM | Stadiums

Comments

We'll always have our Miller Park memories Shane.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 31, 2005 12:56 PM

I congratulate you on going to the source. Thanks for blogging it, even if it is depressing news. How sad are things when the only taking real initiative on either side of this thing is a fan/blogger.

Posted by: Andy Wink at March 31, 2005 1:18 PM

I was just visited by a researcher from Denver here at the UND library. I mentioned to him that I have always wanted to visit Denver and take in a Bronocos game, as many people assert that this is how football should be played: outside, beautiful weather, natural grass, etc. He remarked about how the citizens in Denver were up in arms to make sure that the name Mile High be attched to the stadium name. Interesting, isn't it, that some communities will fight over the name of the stadium, while here no one even cares that our teams could be slipping away due to a lack of interest and support for the very existence of a stadium?

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at March 31, 2005 2:30 PM

Great Work Shane. Did Dave say anything about perhaps choosing a city at all, yet or still nothing?

Posted by: Vince at March 31, 2005 3:35 PM

Fabulous post.

Posted by: SBG at March 31, 2005 3:50 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone. Vince, concerning your question Dave only mentioned that the Twins are in talks with possible "host communities." I actually said in response, "You mean Hennepin County and St. Paul" and Dave hedged a little and said something to the effect, "Yes we are in discussions with them." He obviously would not commit to either one. Another brilliant strategy by the Twins.

Posted by: Shane at March 31, 2005 4:28 PM

Shane-
We all see on the news and in the papers when some group rallies at the Capitol to try to bring attention to their cause. My question is if stadium suppporters attempted to rally at the Capitol, would we be totally embarassed by the turnout? Would people care enough to even show up or would it be just me and you and that Vikings fan from last year? I would think this is something the Twins should organize/sponsor. God knows they have been having people fill out those little postcards at games for years now and should have contact info for plenty of supporters. I remember when the news broke that the Twins might be contracted and that morning I immediately started working the phones. I envisioned a rally at the dome similiar to the crowd the showed up after the 87 ALCS. Things got going quick and before I knew it WCCO radio was calling me for radio soundbites. I ended up coming close to getting St. Paul to allow a rally at Midway Stadium.
Anyway, I to am very disgusted by the goings on of our legislature. More and more it just seems that they want to pass bills to micro manage our lives. I don't expect a rally of even 1000 people would do anything to change their minds but I am getting tired of having a legitimate state concern not addressed.
-Jiminstpaul

Posted by: Jim in St. Paul at March 31, 2005 4:40 PM

Great story Shane. Sad content.

Posted by: Brian Maas at March 31, 2005 10:30 PM

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