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March 4, 2007

Enjoying the snow

It sounds like from Sid's column today that we will be able to put all of this behind us soon. So, with that knowledge I'm going to post some pictures of the totally awesome snow fort my son and I built yesterday. We had a blast.





Posted by snackeru at March 4, 2007 10:04 AM


Snow always looks so nice when it's in someone else's yard....or on TV...Just so long as it's far far far away from me!!

Posted by: kevin in az at March 4, 2007 10:40 AM

I wanna build a fort!

Posted by: MOJO at March 4, 2007 11:01 AM

nice tunnel effect on the snow fort there, hehe. the last week of snow reminded me how much fun winter was when i was a kid. i'm sounding like my dad in saying that winter used to be colder and snowier here, but this past week reminded me of my youth and building snow forts and having impromptu snowball fights with my brothers and friends.

Posted by: mullen at March 4, 2007 11:41 AM

somehow we credit carl pohlad for chipping in an amount closer to his fair share in this stadium to make it happen. y'all know shane is right. landpartners and carl are only in it for the money. i'll vote for the county board members any day. they won't get a cent from this. but they made it happen.

Posted by: Vince at March 4, 2007 12:52 PM

The snow banks on the blvd. by my house are definately big enough, We hardly ever have snow falls like these were the snow banks on the blvds are big enough to make bad@$$ forts. Those were the days, those were the days...

Posted by: RichP at March 4, 2007 7:40 PM

Sid Hartman? The same man who claimed that Lambrecht *wrote rapid park into the bill*? (That's so laughable I almost peed my pants when I heard it). I'll hope along with you, but information from Sid Hartman and 3 bucks won't buy you a cup a coffee.

Posted by: Ralph the Dog at March 4, 2007 8:41 PM

sid hartman is as close to the pohlad family as any media member in this town. so yes, i do take what the man says regarding twins brass with a lot of confidence. and i don't think you and i are "hoping" for the same things based on your posting history here and other places.

Posted by: mullen at March 4, 2007 11:20 PM

Sid announces that Pohlad's involved and all of the sudden no one posts here anymore. Does everyone honestly believe this is now a done deal?

Posted by: John at March 5, 2007 7:48 AM

Looks like Shill is going to have a good prediction.....I still hope he's wrong about 2011!

Posted by: MOJO at March 5, 2007 8:52 AM

While this is far from a done deal, and I agree that Sid prints whatever keeps him in the good graces of the Minnesota sports community, I think he is probably right about this one:

1) It makes good financial sense for the Twins

2) Sid's dubious columns usually consist of glossing over or ignoring 'bad' news about Minnesota sports or sensationalizing issues that are important to MN sports insiders. He does this to stay in the good graces of all his 'close personal friends'. However, when there is good news (like this) he is far more accurate because he has little incentive to ignore any painful facts...

Posted by: tato at March 5, 2007 9:40 AM

Ralph the Dog,

Lambrecht worked very closely with the County to get the bill put together. The financing package he put together and the way he touted his site as being "available"; he, in effect, "wrote" Rapid Park into the bill. Sure, he may not have actually written the bill, but let's be honest, his fingerprints are all over it.

If not for his and Pogin's sly ways, we would have put the first shovel in the ground already. If they had simply been honest from the beginning instead of using the bait-and-switch with their Mission Statement of "Building a world-class major league ballpark in Minneapolis", and then once it was approved, deciding that their advertised price of $17.5M was too low. I digress, but anyone defending LPII hasn't been paying close attention to this for very long.

Posted by: Derek Robertson at March 5, 2007 9:59 AM

Anybody who believed LP2 would take anything less than "as much as they absolutely can get" for the Rapid Park site, including all HC commissioners, are fools.

Posted by: Casual Fan at March 5, 2007 11:32 AM

My son and I shall have to attack and conquer your fort! The Crusades have begun!

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 5, 2007 11:35 AM

Precisely my point Casual Fan. They made a fool of me by lying about their intentions. At least old Carl was up front on his stance, at least HC was up front on their stance. LPII? Well, I am still not sure if they have made their stance known. If these guys would have been honest about their intentions from the start, we'd have broken ground by now. I am not here to judge them, or pretend like I am better than they are. I am just here to say that without their deception, we wouldn't be where we are.

Posted by: Derek Robertson at March 5, 2007 12:05 PM

How did we get into a stadium debate on the "snow fort post?"

Posted by: Jeff T. at March 5, 2007 1:19 PM

Never ever build a snow fort in snow piled up at the curb of a street.

Every year kids get hurt and even killed when city/county snowplows or snow blowers unexpectably come by to move the snow back further.

Best to take your own snowblower in your yard and circle an area to make a mound in the center for the kids.

Posted by: jeff at March 5, 2007 1:37 PM

Derek - You cannot not have deception without somebody willing to believe. If HC was deceived by LP2, they were foolish to believe them in the first place. All the effort to this point should have been under the premise that LP2 was lying (which would be consistent with most business dealings of this calibre), then we wouldn't be here either, and still be digging.

The jury is still out on "Carl" also. I wouldn't be giving him the benefit of the doubt just yet. He could've stepped up weeks ago.

Posted by: Casual Fan at March 5, 2007 2:26 PM

C'mon Jeff Thomps, nobody else is putting up a website where stadium opponents can antagonize stadium supporters, so we get to hear the "same old, same old" until this is resolved. It's a bunch of recycled and circular arguments replayed and reworded ad nausium.

Personally, I think it's funny that some people would still complain about them "not breaking ground" on the stadium, less than a week after we get 20" of snow. There's no way they'd already be in the ground even if the sale was done.

Besides, this will get done. Even after the bill was passed and signed I was uncertain, but once the taxation started, I was finally convinved that this will get done. At this point, it's just a matter of whether or not LPII makes 25% profit or 50% profit. Or if Carl Pohlad kicks in another $10mm - $15mm.

But I do have something marginally new to add: I did do an Edina Realty search to see how much "land" was going for in Minneapolis. I came up with several properties, three stood out: one was 0.25 acre for $1.125mm, another was 0.35 acre for $1.95mm, and one was 0.63 acres for $1.00mm.

Taking the average, it's $3.31mm per acre. So, it's possible that the estimate of $33mm for the site isn't unreasonable.

(I've pasted the property search URL into my name.)


Posted by: Drake33 at March 5, 2007 2:38 PM

I hear you Casual Fan. And remember, I am just bitter about them inviting me to meetings, encouraging me to distribute their "pitch packets" and allowing me to spend hours furthering their cause; which was not about being baseball fans and getting a ballpark built, but rather about them making money. I was foolish to assume the best in these men. They are businessmen first as you said, and couldn't care less about baseball. So, now I am taking the "fool me once" stance. I am not going to believe the best in these men again.

And, good point on Carl too. We'll soon see how committed he is to baseball in Minnesota.

Posted by: Derek Robertson at March 5, 2007 3:06 PM

Drake33 makes a big mistake in his 3 property survey of property valuations. Remember the maxim of real estate: location, location, location. Two of the 2 lots Drake33 lists are a stones throw from a lake. Vacant, residential property is going to command a healthy premium in Minneapolis and it frankly can't be compared to a surface parking lot nestled between two highway ramps and a garbage burner. Apple meet Orange.

Drake33, look at the prices of the Strib land near the Metrodome and you might get a different result to your survey.

Posted by: Freealonzo at March 5, 2007 3:34 PM

"And, good point on Carl too. We'll soon see how committed he is to baseball in Minnesota."

We already know how committed smiling Carl is. Remember "contraction"?

Posted by: BMac at March 5, 2007 4:52 PM


I freely admit that the properties that I found are in no ways comparible to the lot owned by LPII. Location, amenities, and size are completely different. But that's all that are openly for sale.

The right way to do this is to call up the developer that bought property for a similar sized project and see what they paid... Or call up Caldwell Burnett or another realator familiar with larger scale properties and see what's the right number.

hmm. Hennepin County has a decent property information search. ... Give me a some time here, maybe I can find a better match.

Posted by: Drake33 at March 5, 2007 5:17 PM

Wait...if it wasn't for Carl the Twins would have ended up in Tampa Bay. Yet we forget?

Posted by: LarryH at March 5, 2007 5:35 PM

Ok here's a better example:

In 1999 someone bought "The Depot" and turned it into a ice skating rink and hotel. $3.20mm for 5 acres, 8 years ago.


I'm going to apply a 12% appreciation in value over 8 years (that appreciation is a guess), and double the size of the land. 3.20 * 2 * 2.5 = $15.9 MM.

Now that feels like a much better example. I'm going to try and find some more properties who's sale information is available online.

Posted by: Drake33 at March 5, 2007 5:35 PM

February 2004, the Guthrie land was bought by the City: 5.6 acres, $4.00 MM.


I can't find this information on the county's adress search, but this info should be available somewhere. I'll keep poking around.

But for the Twins/HC, this is definitely looking like a $16-$20mm settling price, not $30 or $40mm.

Posted by: Drake33 at March 5, 2007 6:05 PM

Unfortunately because of the way the bill is written LPII is not willing to accept a fair market value or what the true value is in a real market where supply and demand dictates the price. They're taking advantage of their position.

They clearly want something above and beyond any back of the napkin calculation that would seem reasonable....as they won't even name a price or negotiate.

Posted by: mlb2131 at March 5, 2007 9:34 PM

Who gives a flippin french kiss what LP2 says it wants. If they don't care, why should we care!?! Condemn the thing and take it. The condemnation process will decide what's fair. The County is run by a bunch of chickens! They've staked their careers on the success of this thing; no sense stopping now. Go all in (take it!) and move on! I'm tired of reading about this crap.

Posted by: Kaz at March 6, 2007 7:17 AM

more ballpark digest grist:

"Sid Hartman reports that the Minnesota Twins front office is working to close the gap between what Hennepin County is willing to pay for a key parcel of downtown land slated for a new ballpark (around $13 million) and what Land Partners II is willing to accept (around $21 million, but that number is a lot fuzzier). It's not owner Carl Pohlad driving this -- it's his sons, who are working to make the ballpark work and are raising the potential of the Twins picking the cost overrun. The landowners are fairly resolute in wanting to see this decided in court, and many close to the situation don't see Hines Development or attorney Dan Rosen, representing the landowners, particularly interested in working out a deal. Meetings will continue this week; meanwhile, evaluation of two alternate downtown sites continues, and some in the Twins camp feel pretty strongly about moving the ballpark site to surface lots west of the Metrodome controlled by the Star Tribune."

i hope the twins move ahead as it seems the pohlad's prefer. they may be peeved as charley walter's says in his column today, but really, there isn't another alternative. going to the state capitol again is a stupid, uncertain strategy.

Posted by: mullen at March 6, 2007 8:27 AM

Where are these lots west of the StarTribune?
Where is the 40 acre site near the river that is also talked about?

Is there a map showing the half-dozen sites they are considering?

Posted by: Ray at March 6, 2007 9:14 AM

all that surface parking by the dome is basically owned by the star trib. the 40 acre site is off 94W at dowling ave. anyway, it's a stupid move if they go back to the legislature. if the twins feelings are hurt and they are miffed at the delay, i'm sorry, but i'm not going to shed any tears. the resolution is within their grasp, but if they want to keep playing political games, then good luck to them.

Posted by: mullen at March 6, 2007 9:59 AM

I attached an interesting article from the Downtown Journal to my name.

There are more and more things happening and being approved behind the scenes.

I would bet my next paycheck that this will all be behind us within the next 30 days.

Does anyone seriously think the Twins are going to let this slip by?

Posted by: MOJO at March 6, 2007 11:41 AM

Like it's been said before...

Sometimes no news is good news.

Posted by: Erik at March 6, 2007 11:45 AM

Ah... snow forts...

This was the first winter with enough snow for my to show my 2 youngins how to build a cool snow fort. What a blast!!

Posted by: zooomx at March 6, 2007 2:53 PM

Man I hope this thing goes in the star tribune lots, what a great spot.

Posted by: fruitsmcgee at March 6, 2007 4:07 PM

I hope it doesn't because the thing will fall apart if it goes back to the Legislature. Even if its changing some basic language, it will crumble. Also, the price will go up. You're just giving Stadium Opponents a chance to kill this if it goes back to the capital

Posted by: JBN at March 6, 2007 5:27 PM

A littler birdie just flew onto Shooter's (Charley Walters) shoulder and whispered this into into his ear. ..So sick of this, just pony up Pohlad, your no spring chicken anymore, you almost a Century old FFS! You want to get into heaven when your time comes, don't you?

Posted by: RichP at March 6, 2007 5:51 PM

"Who gives a flippin french kiss what LP2 says it wants. If they don't care, why should we care!?! Condemn the thing and take it. The condemnation process will decide what's fair. The County is run by a bunch of chickens! They've staked their careers on the success of this thing; no sense stopping now. Go all in (take it!) and move on! I'm tired of reading about this crap"

Agree with that post 100%, C'mon Opat, quit being a p*$$y, and start condemning!

Posted by: RichP at March 6, 2007 5:57 PM

i honestly can't see how anyone connected with the county or twins wants to give john marty or any other joker over at the capitol an opening. i want to be done with reading or caring about the stadium opinions of john marty thank u very much.

Posted by: mullen at March 6, 2007 6:34 PM

Agreed Mullen. We're not sure what kind of magic act Dean Johnson (God Bless him) had to pull in the Senate on that final night of 2006, but I think it was more then anyone knows.

Worse, he's not there anyore, and John Marty and Larry Pogemiller are. If this goes back to the Capital, I think it will pass the House thanks to Speaker Kelliher, but I see bad, bad things happening in the Senate. This is besides the cost over-runs etc, etc. Don't even think about it Twins and HC. Just suck it up and depost the quick-take money today.

Posted by: David Howe at March 6, 2007 6:42 PM

anything new? or is it the same ole', same ole.

Posted by: RichP at March 7, 2007 6:41 PM

Another day of nothing. Twins fans are being run through the wringer right now. It's a disgrace.

Posted by: John at March 7, 2007 8:22 PM

KSTP had something on their 6 pm news. i only caught the end of it. their graphic said "stadium hearing". it's not listed on their web site, so i guess it was nothing news breaking.

Posted by: mullen at March 7, 2007 9:04 PM

Everyone - check it out - maybe some good news just posted on the Strib web site:


Now they are talking about a parking ramp that could provide add'l revenue for LPII.

Posted by: Jeff T. at March 7, 2007 9:58 PM

thank you jeff for that update and link. i just read the article and it sure sounds like a done deal i hope. that would be a good deal for the landowners. i hope they like the idea and this gets solved quickly. i sure am a lot more optimistic than i was an hour ago. i think it is very creative on the twins part and i hope everyone likes the idea on both sides.

Posted by: victor at March 7, 2007 11:06 PM

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