News & Features
Session 2002

Major League Baseball has threatened to eliminate the Minnesota Twins and one other franchise, apparently unless Minnesota agrees to help fund a new baseball stadium for the team. Complicating the debate, however, will be the contention of the Minnesota Vikings that they need a new stadium too and a disagreement between the Vikings and the University of Minnesota about whether the stadium should serve both organizations.

"Sen. D.Johnson says 'I' support the stadium. He does not say the people he represents support the stadium."

•Does a new stadium really make a difference. Cathy Wurzer talks with Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Listen (Morning Edition - 5/3/02)
•Opposition to the stadium bills. Listen (Midday - 3/27/02)
•The stadium debate. Listen (Midday - 3/18/02)
•User fees and the stadium. Guest: Sen. Dean Johnson. Listen (Midmorning- 3/11/02)
Sen. Dean Johnson outlines prospects for a new stadium (Midday - 1/29/02)
•Dean Barkley, director of Minnesota Planning and member of the task force on stadiums, discusses the chances for state funding or financing of a new stadium for the team. Listen
•Rep. Harry Mares, R-White Bear Lake, sponsor of stadium legislation in 2001, discusses the chances for a stadium bill this session. Listen
•Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, on the mood at the Capitol for stadium legislation. Listen
•Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission news conference following Appeals Court ruling. Listen
The stadium debate - Rep. Mary Liz Holberg - Midmorning (1/17/02)
Donald Watkins
Businessman pursuing Twins.
Carl Pohlad
Interview with MPR

More Audio...

A Baseball Battle (MPR Coverage)

Stadium Task Force
Audio and video archives of hearings.

Gov. Jesse Ventura signed a stadium financing bill on May 22, 2002. The bill cleared the House 72-61 and the Senate followed shortly after with a 49-18 vote. It's the most progress the Twins have made in their stadium quest in seven years. If successfully carried out, the proposal might stave off a plan by baseball to eliminate the low-revenue franchise. The deal for a $330 million ballpark requires a $120 million private contribution - facilitated by the Twins - prior to any bond sale. In addition, the team would pay $10 million a year in rent. Some say the plan effectively eliminates Minneapolis as an option.
Latest Stadium News at the Capitol

Ventura signs stadium bill
May 22- Minnesota's fight to save the Twins from extinction got a big boost Wednesday when Gov. Jesse Ventura approved a financing framework for a $330 million ballpark. It caps a seven-year effort by the Twins to secure help from the state for an open-air, natural grass stadium. But the plan has only lukewarm support from the Twins. Twins officials are unsure they'll be able to find $120 million for a required down payment and get a guarantee from major league baseball that a team will play in Minnesota for at least 30 years. Read

More Stories on this Issue

Vikings, Twins pick apart stadium bill (5/20/02)
Legislature passes stadium bill (5/19/02)
Stadium bill unravels (4/5/02)
Twins attorney issues new demands as ballpark bill advances (4/3/02)
Enthusiasm for stadium bill waning (3/28/2002)
Twins' contraction still a possibility, Selig says (3/26/02)
House passes stadium bill (3/25/02)
House committee hands Twins, Ventura a stadium win (3/21/02)
Ventura proposes stadium plan (3/15/2002)
Senate passes stadium bill (3/13/02)
Ballpark financing plan advances... barely (3/12/02)
Stadium financing plan sent to full Senate (3/8/02)
Twins stadium bills still alive (2/19/02)
Vikings thrown for loss at Capitol (2/18/02)
St. Paul stadium plan advances (2/15/02)
Things begin to look up for Twins (2/7/02)
Contraction postponed (2/5/02)
Task force ends work with two-stadium recommendation
Twins continue the fight
Supreme Court upholds decision ordering Twins to play in 2002. (1/23/02)
Panel recommends two stadiums
A tripartisan stadium task force is poised to recommend that the governor and the Legislature approve financing proposals this year for two new stadiums. (1/16/02)
A knack for confrontation
The Donald Watkins story.
Panel endorses stadium funding.
A tripartisan stadium task force opted to support the concept of public financing for a stadium, while steering clear of direct subsidization.
Where are the opponents?
As the stadium issue progresses at the Capitol, the fervent opposition of previous sessions is missing.
Homer Hanky Jurisprudence
The Minnesota Twins argued before an appeals court that the team should not be forced to play baseball in the Metrodome in 2002.
A Cold Omaha?
If Major League Baseball moves ahead with its contraction plans and cuts the Twins before next season, some have suggested that the Twin Cities reputation as a major league city sports location would be in jeopardy.
Metrodome renovation plan attracts few fans.The Vikings are seeking a $500 million stadium to be shared with the University of Minnesota Gophers. But the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission is advancing a plan to renovate the Metrodome.

(More coverage)