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March 21, 2007

Another reason for optimism

I received an email about this Hennepin County open house taking place next week:

Informational Open House: Traffic and pedestrian reroutes caused by ballpark construction. Representatives from Hennepin County Ballpark Project Office, Minnesota Ballpark Authority, City of Minneapolis, M.A. Mortenson (in charge of ballpark construction), and Northstar Commuter Rail Project will have information about the current closure schedules and can answer questions. Information also available on how to get updates.

Location: Environmental Services Building Visitor's Center, 417 N. 5th Street, Minneapolis. (Across 5th Street from Ford Center)

Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Time: 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Questions: Chuck Ballentine, Deputy Coordinator, Hennepin County Ballpark Project, 390 Grain Exchange Building, 301 4th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Phone: 612-543-7274, Fax: 612-348- 7537, E-mail: chuck.ballentine@co.hennepin.mn.us

I don't think it is any coincidence this open house is a day after the big HC Board meeting on the 27th. Anyone still think this isn't going to get done?

Posted by snackeru at March 21, 2007 9:57 PM


oh its getting done no doubt about it. i am not worried in the least anymore. it is definetely a done deal. thanks for all of your information shane through all of this. i appreciate it. keep us posted even though it is a done deal.

Posted by: victor at March 21, 2007 10:19 PM


Posted by: kevin in az at March 21, 2007 10:52 PM

ahh. I have no doubt that the denial, pessimism and madness will continue, as long as they have a willing audience to antagonize and argue against.

But yeah. It's a beautiful day.

For most of us.

Posted by: drake33 at March 21, 2007 11:45 PM

Kare 11 had piece last night that said HC will commence condemnation this week. Opat was on saying that "going this route will cause HC to eliminate many bells and whistles and sacrifice fan amenities..."

I'm disapointed that the Twins and HC couldn't work together to get this done, but do I get any cred for saying this was the only option Opat had? and that he should've realized it and taken it a month ago? Probably not, oh well. On to the next saga.

Posted by: Stadiumshill at March 22, 2007 7:37 AM

Maybe it will be a moot point and LPII won't get much more than $13.35 million anyway. I would LMAO if the judge (or jury) awards them less than the county offered. Nevertheless, I am very disappointed in the Twins. The baseball side of the operation is superb, but Pohlad and his cronies are pathetic.

Posted by: John at March 22, 2007 8:03 AM

Since all the t's aren't crossed and i's dotted, I think Opat is going to continue saying the amenities will fall short of expectation until the Twins actually sign something, guaranteeing that they will pay anything over the original asking price. I wouldn't worry. Pohlad doesn't seem to be in much control of his wallet these days. His boys have pretty much taken control and only wheel out old daddy to sign the checks.

Posted by: kevin in az at March 22, 2007 10:08 AM

There was an article in the paper a couple of weeks ago that followed the old geezer through the process of buying a $5,000 over coat. He seemed to have most of his wits and faculties about him, which surprised me. He reminds me of Mr. Burns on the Simpsons.

Posted by: Kaz at March 22, 2007 10:31 AM

Once a banker, always a banker.

Posted by: kevin in az at March 22, 2007 10:34 AM

As I mentioned yesterday, Opat seems to have finally realized the value in managing expectations. Under promise & over deliver and everyone falls all over themselves saying how great you did.

Anyway, the end (start) is now so close we can smell it (or are those Mary's delicious cookies cooling?)

Posted by: tato at March 22, 2007 11:38 AM

Opat just learning to manage expectations, I think, is a little "rose colored glasses." He's been a politico for a long time and this isn't his first controversial project. While I think he's intentionally lowering expectations, the prospect of him doing that to set the stage for "over delivering" is a little suspect at this stage of his career.

Posted by: Kaz at March 22, 2007 12:30 PM

^perhaps, but something's changed with the guy.

Over the past year or so his comments have swung wildly from irrational giddiness to doom and gloom and finally to a FAR more reasonable (and less inflammatory) cautious optimism...

Representing a single district in a county may be a challenging job, but even on controversial projects you are 'preaching to the choir' a lot of the time simply due to the relative homogeneity of your constituency. The audience for the stadium is FAR bigger, louder, and more diverse.

Posted by: tato at March 22, 2007 12:42 PM

I agree. No doubt he's more solemn when talking about the stadium, but I wonder if thats based more on fear of "underdelivering" and CYA rather than a longer term strategy designed to surprise people for the better.....

Posted by: Kaz at March 22, 2007 12:47 PM

the baseball side wouldn't function and be where it's at without the business side of the operation. look at the twins advertising, marketing, sales. they have good, smart people in all areas on and off the field. this doesn't happen by accident. good organizations thrive because of support up and down the chain. now compare that to the vikings...who are living off the fumes of past glory and just assume we'll all be interested because they're the vikings.

Posted by: mullen at March 22, 2007 1:04 PM

That's certainly a valid way to look at it. Just imagine the column that Nick Coleman would write if Opat basically backed up Bell's recent comments and then there was even a HINT of any deal falling through.

I cringe at the thought...

In fact, through this whole fiasco, I have always felt that one of the more positive omens was N. Coleman's relative silence on the issue. You know that if the deal were about to fall apart he'd dedicate 3 or 4 columns to it. I think he only touched the issue once about a month or so ago (although I'm a bit embarassed to admit I have perused that many of his columns!)

Posted by: tato at March 22, 2007 1:07 PM

Anyway, the end (start) is now so close we can smell it (or are those Mary's delicious cookies cooling?)

No Tato, Shane ate all the cookies.

Posted by: kevin in az at March 22, 2007 3:25 PM

Not sure if this Star Tribune poll has been mentioned on here yet. Looks like the people of Minnesota support the ballpark tax afterall!!

Posted by: John at March 22, 2007 8:02 PM

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