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View Full Version : House passes stadium bill that may help save Twins


Jerry_Manuel
03-25-2002, 09:29 PM
The Minnesota House approved a stadium plan Monday that could influence whether the Twins survive beyond this season (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news/ap/20020325/ap-twinsstadium.html)

doublem23
03-25-2002, 09:32 PM
:tool

Dammit!

rmusacch
03-25-2002, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel
The Minnesota House approved a stadium plan Monday that could influence whether the Twins survive beyond this season (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news/ap/20020325/ap-twinsstadium.html)

What is the deal with Donald Watkins? Why have we not heard anything about his offer for the Twins. I heard he has turned his attention to the Angels now.

Daver
03-25-2002, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by rmusacch


What is the deal with Donald Watkins? Why have we not heard anything about his offer for the Twins. I heard he has turned his attention to the Angels now.

I think this deal was put together as an enticement.

rmusacch
03-25-2002, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by daver


I think this deal was put together as an enticement.

Well he did a good job of it if that was the case. I thought he was seriousm about buying the Twins.

Daver
03-25-2002, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by rmusacch


Well he did a good job of it if that was the case. I thought he was seriousm about buying the Twins.

Watkins is playing games with Bud,he has already proven to the selection commitee that he has the wherwithal to buy a team,so it is to his advantage to explore all the possibilites.

ma-gaga
03-26-2002, 10:13 AM
I don't know what to think about Watkins. He kind of dropped off the radar screen once Pohlad asked for $158MM. I don't know if he's looking for a bargain team, but he hasn't made a statement, or attempted to put together an offer.

Stadium bill: Yes!!! No tax dollars, (well, technically, yes, there will be some tax dollars...) and somehow the Twins seem to endorse it. Changes to MLB non-with-standing.


But the public's contribution is minimal, and the risk is minimal.

:) :) :)

Chisoxfn
03-26-2002, 11:08 AM
Right now I've heard that Watkins has been talking to the Angels and is now considered a favorite to buy the Angels as well. So its going to come down to which team he'd rather have the Twins or Angels.

I haven't heard how serious he is in the Angles but I have heard some talk about him on the sports radio shows out here and they say he's pretty serious. I think some of it has to do with the fact that Pohlad is a complete goon and is making it hard to even sell the team.

I'd rather have the Angels if I were him. Your in a big population area that has money and is untapped. If you put a winner on the field and do some correct marketing they could really be a huge sucess. Then again so could the Twins cause there in a big city as well.

Nellie_Fox
03-26-2002, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by Chisoxfn
I think some of it has to do with the fact that Pohlad is a complete goon and is making it hard to even sell the team.
Had the state stuck to its guns, Pohlad would probably have sold to Watkins, who planned to build the stadium himself. However, the state started getting nervous, fearing that if Watkins fell through, MLB would go ahead with contraction. So, to hedge their bets, they started another round of stadium financing talks, and Pohlad figured, "gee, if Minnesota builds me a new ballpark, I can either get a lot more for the Twins, or I will get new revenue that will make it worth keeping the club in the family." So he sat back and waited to see what the state was going to do, and apparently that caused Watkins to start hedging his bets. In the end, it will be the citizens of Minnesota who get screwed. If the revenue doesn't materialize to pay the bonds, it will have to come out of taxpayer funds.

foulkesfan11
03-26-2002, 12:26 PM
I hope Minnesota gets the ax. I never liked that team anyway.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-26-2002, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox

Had the state stuck to its guns, Pohlad would probably have sold to Watkins, who planned to build the stadium himself. However, the state started getting nervous, fearing that if Watkins fell through, MLB would go ahead with contraction. So, to hedge their bets, they started another round of stadium financing talks, and Pohlad figured, "gee, if Minnesota builds me a new ballpark, I can either get a lot more for the Twins, or I will get new revenue that will make it worth keeping the club in the family." So he sat back and waited to see what the state was going to do, and apparently that caused Watkins to start hedging his bets. In the end, it will be the citizens of Minnesota who get screwed. If the revenue doesn't materialize to pay the bonds, it will have to come out of taxpayer funds.

Wouldn't that just tear it? Imagine getting stuck with Pohlad as owner after the taxpayers' foot the bill for building a new stadium for the Twins.

:reinsy
"Can you imagine building a new stadium for me?"

:ohno
"Unfortunately, yes."

RedPinStripes
03-26-2002, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by foulkesfan11
I hope Minnesota gets the ax. I never liked that team anyway.

The twins don't need to go, but that ****ty dome does. I'm for doing away with all turf fields though. I played softball one winter in a golf dome and it was like playing in a school yard. rediculous!!!!!! If they can grow green grass in AZ with a roof, they can put grass amywhere.

ma-gaga
03-26-2002, 01:40 PM
I agree. The Dome sucks, tear it down build a new park.

PHG, technically this isn't a funding bill, but a financing bill. (I watched too much of the Minnesota Legislature in action yesterday afternoon. If you want to fall asleep, I'm sure they'll be discussing health care today, here's the site:http://www.leg.state.mn.us/ )

I think part of the bill currently has provisions for:
A.) New ownership
B.) Reform of baseball
C.) Maximum construction/contribution costs

and per the article: The only direct state subsidy is a sales-tax exemption on construction supplies, an incentive valued at $10 million

Somehow, someone figured out a decent proposal. Yes, it's a stadium bill, but there are no inherent taxes being raised unless the bonds don't produce, but the total yearly payouts are something like $15M, and zero for the state.

I still don't quite understand the bill completely, but the general concept is that the State acts like a bank. The team puts up front $165MM, and the State offers the owner of the team a low interest loan (6.5%) on the remaining $165MM for the cost of the stadium. The State takes the initial deposit and invests it, as long as they make 8.5% interest, everything works.

The state blinked at Bud's extortion scheme, yet this doesn't raise taxes or charge exorberant user fees, or doesn't completely screw the Twins orginization over (unless bud's 60/40 rule is actually enforced this year). I am amazed, somehow this bill works for everyone involved (the Tool non-with-standing).

If your really bored, and you want to read the actual bill here you go: Bill number: HF 2214 (http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/cgi-bin/getbill.pl?session=ls82&version=latest&number=HF2214&session_number=0&session_year=) I don't know if that'll directly work. The site uses frames.

:) zzzzzzzzzz

PaleHoseGeorge
03-26-2002, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
...technically this isn't a funding bill, but a financing bill... I think part of the bill currently has provisions for:
A.) New ownership
B.) Reform of baseball
C.) Maximum construction/contribution costs...the general concept is that the State acts like a bank. The team puts up front $165MM, and the State offers the owner of the team a low interest loan (6.5%) on the remaining $165MM for the cost of the stadium. The State takes the initial deposit and invests it, as long as they make 8.5% interest, everything works....

This bears watching. However, what you're describing above most-definitely is a state subsidy to a private business interest. The money the State of Minnesota is guaranteeing to the team is being offered at less than market rates. That is money the state is withholding from other needs. Just because they didn't raise taxes, does not mean the practical effect isn't to strain the state's budget elsewhere. It's a new liability on the balance sheet, and there is no getting around the loss of a tangible asset to the state--unless Minnesota has the same thieves from Andersen certifying their books as did Enron's. :smile:

Ah, policitians. They're probably jealous all the good accountants are under indictment. Taxpayers foot all the bills generated by the State of Minnesota--no matter how these wisenheimers shuffle the cards.

:reinsy
"My ballpark was built with bonds underwritten by the state with a hotel/motel tax on the Chicago area's out-of-town guests. Illinois politicians figured they would never stand for reelection to the taxpayers footing the bill!"

:fans
"The Sox Fans of Chicago wish to encourage everyone to visit our fair city!"

:)

Nellie_Fox
03-26-2002, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
....The State takes the initial deposit and invests it, as long as they make 8.5% interest, everything works.
It's a shell game to keep the taxpayers confused. It will cost us, believe me. Not only could the money have been invested in ways that could make more money for the state, but whenever the payoff drops below 8.5, the bonds will have to be covered by the taxpayers.

ma-gaga
03-26-2002, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
However, what you're describing above most-definitely is a state subsidy to a private business interest. The money the State of Minnesota is guaranteeing to the team is being offered at less than market rates. That is money the state is withholding from other needs.

The difference, is that the Team is fronting the money, not the state.

The money is not coming out of any Minnesota general fund, but directly from slimeball Pohlad, or whichever owner he happens to sell to. The state's budget shouldn't be affected by this bill. From what I understand, the rate that the State guarantees 6.5% is less than what a private bank could offer for that magnitude of a loan. It IS a very fine line.

Nellie. I agree, anything less than 8.5% and the CITY of the stadium site gets hit. I want a new stadium, so if the referendum comes to Minneapolis, I'm voting 'yes'. I'll understand if the rest of Minneapolis votes it down.

Whatever, this still doesn't get rid of that selig weasel, or correct the other financial inequities of baseball...

:gulp:

ma-gaga
03-26-2002, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox

It's a shell game to keep the taxpayers confused. It will cost us, believe me. Not only could the money have been invested in ways that could make more money for the state, but whenever the payoff drops below 8.5, the bonds will have to be covered by the taxpayers.

Actually, I do disagree with part of your statement. There is no investing of this money without this bill. There is an initial contribution directly from the team. That money wouldn't exist without this bill.

Spinners can say that this actually helps the state if the interest is greater than 8.5%. But I don't know.

We may have to pay more in the future, but like Stevie Sviggem says, 'Why set future budgets? That's their job.'

:)

Nellie_Fox
03-26-2002, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
We may have to pay more in the future, but like Stevie Sviggem says, 'Why set future budgets? That's their job.'
:)
lol

PaleHoseGeorge
03-26-2002, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
The difference, is that the Team is fronting the money, not the state.

The money is not coming out of any Minnesota general fund, but directly from slimeball Pohlad, or whichever owner he happens to sell to. The state's budget shouldn't be affected by this bill. From what I understand, the rate that the State guarantees 6.5% is less than what a private bank could offer for that magnitude of a loan. It IS a very fine line.

Your reply begs this question: if Pohlad isn't getting SOMETHING of value from the State of Minnesota, why should the State of Minnesota be involved at all?

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Perhaps the State of Minnesota won't owe one thin dime in this deal, but it's foolish to suggest the politicians aren't giving Pohlad something that couldn't have been spent elsewhere to do the state's business. In economics, the reference is often to "the choice between more guns or more butter".

BTW, every liability of the state is in fact the liability of the state's citizens. The only resources the state has are collected through taxes. Mind you, I'm not saying this is fair.

Some things are simply inevitable. Death is the other one.

:gulp:

ma-gaga
03-26-2002, 05:03 PM
:)

I agree. As a voting fool with no kids, I say spend my taxes on a new ballpark. My retired neighbors to the north may rather want healthcare be a priority, or the gay couple on the south may rather have full marriage rights, but I'd much rather have a new stadium to enjoy the game.

I don't go into this thinking that this is a FREE stadium. If it gets passed in Minneapolis, I can probably look forward to a little more expensive lunch each time I eat out, but this is a very well thought out, unique bill. It's not the standard "raise your taxes" bill which other cities have suffered (Pittsburg, Milwaukee, Seattle, Detroit, etc.,etc.).

If everything goes as planned, there will be zero public dollars spent. There will be a tax free subsidy on building materials (which is a cost), and some nominal site improvements. But the order of magnitude of public costs is minimal, probably < $50MM which includes all site costs, and whatever difference from that 8.5% magic interest rate over 30 years. Yes, there is some risk here, but it's staggering the difference between the potential costs of this bill vs. the standard stadium bills which have been defeated time and time again.

Frankly, I'm still a little skeptical too, but the numbers don't lie on this one. The originator of this bill is NOT from MLB. :D: :D:

Isn't this a Sox site? Jeeze, who let the rif-raf in here?!?

Anyways, it's 5pm. I'm going down to the bar to have a cheaper beer, before they turn this bill into law!

:gulp:

Nellie_Fox
03-26-2002, 09:24 PM
Whichever city ends up hosting the team has to go in with the Twins in paying off the bonds. I don't care what spin you try to put on it, that's taxpayer money. While it won't directly impact me down here in Mankato, but it will certainly raise the cost of going to St. Paul for dinner.

Why should Joe Lunchbucket in Minneapolis or St. Paul have to pay more for his bacon and eggs so that Pohlad can get a better return on his investment?