April 25, 2005
Twins press conference
So, I snuck out of work to attend the Twins Press Conference this afternoon. I just had to go. I've tried really hard this time, but unfortunately hope is now firmly entrenched in my heart. The more I read about this plan, the more I think about this plan, the more I listen to other people talk about this plan, the more hopeful I become. It is just the way it is. Could I be heading for a hard fall? Sure, but why should this year be any different than the past 9 years? I'll survive.
Anyway, about the Twins press conference ... it was quite an experience. I was thrilled to be there, of course, but it was kind of cold. In fact, Pohlad quipped that it was so cold they should consider asking for a roof. Everyone politely laughed. It is obvious the stadium needs a roof and everybody knows it. I'll talk about this more in the days to come.
While I was at the press conference I got to rub elbows with a lot of famous sports and political personalities including Joe Schmit, Bob Sansavere, Sid Hartman, Roy Terwilliger, Mike Opat, Roy Smalley, Kent Hrbek, and Paul Molitor. Patrick Reusse walked right in front of me mumbling how he wouldn't even be writing about this stadium plan and that he had stopped writing about Twins stadiums in 1999. I wanted to kick him.
Pohlad got up and made some incoherent statements (how old is he now?), and then his son Jim got to the microphone and said, "If a stadium can't be built with this plan it will never be built." This sent a chill down my spine since there is a distinct possibility that this plan will not result in a stadium. I wonder if Jim was alluding to the fact that this may be his family's last attempt. Who knows ...
Then Jerry Bell got up there and started talking like this was already a done deal. You know, "When this stadium opens in 2009 fans will just love it..." I was in heaven! HEAVEN! This is my bread and butter people and I eat it up like nobody's business! He talked about the heated concourses, the new sun screen over the outfield, the fact that this stadium has 12,000 seats between first and third (as opposed to only 6,000 at the Dome), and only 12,000 seats in the entire upper deck. "That is unheard of!" Bell jublilantly proclaimed. Bell praised Mike Opat and Mike Opat praised Jerry Bell. It was obvious they were very happy with their work and the resulting plan.
After that, the press conference was over. I tried to weasel my way into some of the side interviews taking place, but I couldn't hear anything anyone was saying. So, I walked back to the U. All in all it was a great press conference and it furthered my climb into the heights of hopefulness.
Anyway, that was my afternoon. Stay tuned for more tomorrow.
Posted by snackeru at April 25, 2005 8:00 PM | Stadiums
The initial feeling of rejection is wearing off. I am slowly getting excited about a Twins ballpark in Minneapolis. I have to admit I have already looked at maps to plot out my backroads route to Minneapolis from St. Paul and am thinking of "secret" parking places to avoid the crush of everyone who will park in those ramps and lots. Maybe I will even call my legislator or write a letter to the editor. But right now I am on a more personal poltical quest. Do you know good ol' John Marty hates beer as much as stadiums. He wants to raise the state excise tax on beer from $4 something to $37 something! It would put the brewery I work at out of business. Plus it would probably make a beer costs about $11 in a new ballpark. So if you are going to call your legislator about supporting a new ballpark can you put in a good word for me against higher excise taxes on beer? If you all do, I promise to support the Minneapolis plan.
Posted by: Jiminstpaul at April 26, 2005 5:25 AM
You got it Jim. $11 for a beer? A $37 excise tax? The man is certifiably insane. I have a hard time believing that a bill like this would have any success here.
Anyway, good to have you on board with "The Plan" Jim. Given your expertise, where do you think we should focus our energies: out-state legislators or metro-area "do-nothings"?
Posted by: Shane at April 26, 2005 8:12 AM
It's too early in the process for me to get emotionally invested in the prospect of a new downtown stadium. "Wolf" has been cried all too many times. It is time for elected leaders to get the work done without expecting much public support. They have put themselves in a position where they can expect enthusiasm only when ground is actually broken.
I fear, however, that those leaders recognize that they will bear the full burden of responsibility if this plan should fall through and the Twins fold or leave town. This is the reason they may insist on a Hennepin County referendum--a way to shift responsibility for failure to the taxpaying public. This of course will kill the plan. The Twins are not interested in spending money to campaign and advertise in favor of a referendum that would still be unlikely to pass.
The ball is squarely in the court of our elected officials who have brought us to this tipping point. Lead on, O wise ones!! Expect no public passion until the deed is done. Once ground is broken--or the Twins and Vikings leave town--there will be passion aplenty.
Posted by: ss at April 26, 2005 11:58 AM
I'd love to help you stand against the beer tax, could you explain what's going on a little more? I'm afraid I don't understand.
Posted by: Vince at April 26, 2005 3:29 PM
ss, I was struck by the simple truths in your comment. Yes, it is highly likely that the only time we will see passion our of anyone is when we break ground or the Twins leave town. It is a shame it has to be like this. Oh well, I will continue to try to do my part.
Posted by: Shane at April 26, 2005 5:25 PM