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April 7, 2005

Community ownership idea progressing

Vince points out in a comment below that a bill for community ownership of the Twins is making its way through the legislature. The StarTrib wrote an interesting piece concerning this bill that states:

The community-ownership bills would direct the governor and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission to negotiate with the Twins for a sale of shares with limited voting rights for as little as $100 apiece. Twins owners would retain a 25 percent to 35 percent share and would operate the team day-to-day.

The summary of the bill on the House's web site is also interesting. It basically says that the public will own at least 50% of the franchise and that a managing, private partner will own at least 25% but no more than 35% of the franchise.

The bill has already moved through a House committee and a Senate committee, but according to the Strib article above, Jerry Bell has already stated, "Our view is it doesn't solve anything." From the Twins perspective, it really doesn't. In order to survive into the future they need a new stadium, plain and simple. This is also the perspective of MLB as a whole. Without a new stadium the Twins are not a healthy franchise. If you'll note, this bill does not say anything about a new stadium. It doesn't guarantee anything towards the construction of a new stadium. The only way Pohlad would agree to a plan like this is if it had a new stadium guarantee.

That is what I think anyway.

However, from a public standpoint this bill is great. With the public owning 50% of the franchise the Twins could never move. We would never have to worry again. For that reason alone I am in favor of this bill progressing. I would certainly buy a couple of shares. However, it takes two to tango and I just don't think Pohlad would ever go for this, and I also don't think MLB would allow him to in the first place. Both Pohlad and MLB would lose all their leverage towards getting their ultimate goal accomplished (a new stadium now and probably in the future) and they know it.

Having said that, I wonder if the bill could (or does already) force Pohlad to negotiate. Probably not. If anyone has any other thoughts I would love to hear them.

Posted by snackeru at April 7, 2005 12:57 PM | Stadiums


much obliged!

Posted by: Vince at April 7, 2005 1:14 PM

No problem, Vince. I aim to please. What do you think about all of this community ownership business? Again, I like the idea, I'm just not sure Pohlad will go for it.

Posted by: Shane at April 7, 2005 1:26 PM

My view agrees with you in that it still does not solve the stadium issue, it actually harms it, IMO. If the legislature won't approve a stadium bill with only $120M from the Pohlads, what chance is there where the public foots 100% of the cost?

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 7, 2005 2:05 PM

I think Pohlad would go for it if he would still be recognized around town as the owner and the clout that would ensure him. However, I was fuzzy on how much it would cost the state to take on the team? Would it be like the Green Bay situation, sell shares of monetarily worthless stock to the public at large, or would the city have to come up with serious funds like 400 million for their share of the Twins? It seems hard to imagine that if the State is unwilling to put in any money for the stadium that they would be willing to put in even more even if for ownership purposes. The legislature is too short cited to appreciate the profits the team could generate for the state down the road, so I would guess that public ownership will not come to a fruition.

Posted by: Vince at April 7, 2005 2:46 PM

P.S. - for whatever reason, I am getting good vibes about the Twins chances. I don't want to jinx it, but I think this could be the year despite everyone's bitching and everyone saying they won't budge from their positions. Everyone's really excited about the Twins this year (locally and nationally), the Santana signing, and hometown kid made good seem to me to be the intangibles pushing this forward.

If the Twins get a stadium this session, I will be able to sleep easier at night knowing that all of our teams will be locked up for the rest of my lifetime. I say this b/c the Vikes are by far this town's pride and joy (though I'm not sure why considering the underachieving headcases and losers it brings to town year after year) and there's no way the legislature would ever let them slink away. In 2011, there are many of men who would remove an extremity to preserve the Vikes' home in Minnesota. Guarunteed.

Did anyone see the most recent jab from the PiPress at MPLS's "incinerator site"? Shane has a link to it in the post below. The StarTrib has been taking cheap shot after cheap shot from St. Paul on the stadium issue for the last month or so and has not fought back. And this after the Trib championed for St. Paul to receive light rail in an editorial not too long ago. I think it's due time that the Trib put up its dukes and went Rick Rickert on St Paul. Naturally, St. Paul's second class status in Minny often encourages it to take shots at its bigger brother across the river now and then, but a big bro can only put up with so much before he needs to remind junior who the man is around here. St. Paul should be grateful that we've carried her for so long and far and stood up for her so many times in the school yard. Enjoy our goodwill and gifts of the Capitol, Garrison, the Wild, smoke filled bars, and floozies from St. Kate's and St. Thomas, but mind your place. Live Music, nightlife, saultry Frat Girls, and the Twins belong in mpls like peas in a pod.

Rebuttal anyone?

Posted by: Vince at April 7, 2005 3:07 PM

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