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Old 04-24-2005, 02:16 PM   #1
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Default Twins, Hennepin Country agree on stadium


What: 42,000-seat open-air ballpark with 60 luxury suites.

Where: Downtown Minneapolis, near Target Center. Projected to open in 2009.

Project cost: $478 million, including infrastructure and finance costs.

Twins to pay: $125 million.

Hennepin County to pay: $353 million, funded by 0.15 percent increase in sales tax in Hennepin County.

What's next: Legislature and governor must approve tax increase.

Referendum? Team and county oppose it.


After a decade of failed Twins ballpark efforts, what's different about this one?
It is site specific, scaled back -- with no roof -- and requires no state money.

Why didn't a plan like this emerge before?
In the past, some team and civic leaders believed it was financially and politically advantageous to play Minneapolis against St. Paul. But a stadium plan with a specific site and a local government partner worked before: St. Paul and the Minnesota Wild built Xcel Energy Center, although state funds were a part of that deal.

Why no roof?
It costs more than $100 million. If there's to be a roof, the state will have to pay for it.

What are the hurdles?
The Hennepin County Board must approve the package, and the Legislature and governor must permit the county tax increase. County and team officials said any attempt to require a referendum would kill the deal.

Could such a finance plan work for a Minnesota Vikings stadium?
No. Blaine has a site, but, absent an investment by Vikings ownership of about $400 million, Anoka County's sales tax base can't fund a $645 million stadium. For now, state money would have to be part of any Vikings plan, as it is in a proposed $235 million Gophers on-campus stadium.

Target Center is in lower left corner....I-394 seperates...runs underneath two massive parking garages.....yellow line is new Hiawatha Light Rail line.....blue line is future Northstar Commuter Rail Line....Red square is future transit station....
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