In the Spotlight

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By MPR Newsroom
Minnesota Public Radio

Court order makes contraction unlikely, for now
Jan. 22The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld an injunction requiring the Twins to play the 2002 season in the Metrodome.

Panel recommends two stadiums
Jan. 16A tripartisan stadium task force is poised to recommend that the governor and the Legislature approve financing proposals this year for two new stadiums. The task force voted to prepare a draft report containing the recommendation and expanded the possible revenue sources to fund the plan. But some members argued the proposal remains too vague and offers policy-makers little guidance.

Watkins: A knack for confrontation
Jan 12 - Donald Watkins, the man who wants to buy the Minnesota Twins, has a reputation as a man with a knack for confrontation. He's helped run a Richard Daley-style political machine in Birmingham, Alabama and made a fortune in his position as a special counsel for the mayor there. Now he's trying to buy the Twins and solve the stadium problem, but he says he won't use the taxpayer's money Read

Fund or Finance - More than semantics"
Jan. 9The stadium task force tackles the thorny issues surrounding financing of potential baseball and football stadiums. After months of taking testimony, task force members are sorting through their options for paying for sports facilities.

"Where are the opponents?"
Jan. 3A tripartisan stadium task force opened its proceedings to public comment and found supporters of state assistance for a new Twins ballpark outnumbering opponents. Unlike previous stadium discussions in previous years, critics of taxpayer involvement were scarce during nearly six hours of testimony.

"Homer Hanky jurisprudence"
Dec. 27The Minnesota Twins argued before an appeals court that the team should not be forced to play baseball in the Metrodome in 2002. The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission wants the Twins to honor their lease to play in the dome next year.

A cold Omaha?
Dec. 24If 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. However, economists say the fallout from the loss of the team would be more psychological than economic.
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Metrodome renovation plan attracting few fans
Dec. 19The Minnesota Vikings returned to the state Capitol Tuesday to continue their campaign for a new stadium. 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. The commission, which owns and operates the facility , told a tripartisan stadium task force that renovation would be cheaper and would solve many of the Vikings' problems in the current Metrodome.
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Vikings list stadium needs
Dec. 13The Minnesota Vikings are the latest Minneapolis-based sports team to ask the stadium task force for a new stadium. Vikings Executive Vice President Mike Kelly told task force members that a gap between the revenue of the Vikings and the rest of the league's teams will grow by 2004.
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Contraction retraction?
Dec. 11Major League Baseball and its players' union are reportedly close to reaching an agreement that delays contraction for a year. If the deal goes through, the Twins will play baseball next season, but could still face elimination at the end of the 2002 baseball season.
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Pohlad says he's not paying for a legacy
Dec. 7In an exclusive interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad confirmed Major League Baseball has singled out the Twins and the Montreal Expos as the franchises that would fold if baseball contraction goes as planned. Pohlad has become the focal point of fan anger and criticism over the prospect the Twins will vanish.
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A hostile crowd
Dec. 6Baseball commissioner Bud Selig took his case for eliminating teams to Congress on Thursday and was greeted by skeptical committee members and hostile questions from Minnesota's governor.
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The stadium link
Nov. 29The president of the Minnesota Twins Thursday made the first direct link between efforts to build a new stadium and Major League Baseball's threat to fold the team. Baseball officials have not said the Twins are one of the two teams that might be eliminated, though virtually all reports have identified Minnesota and Montreal as endangered teams.

No action on contraction
Nov. 27Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the league’s owners have made little progress on eliminating two teams before the start of next season. At the owner's meeting in Chicago Wednesday, the owners extended Selig’s tenure as commissioner and talked about contraction. They didn’t name which teams they plan to cut, but the Twins and Montreal Expos are widely considered the top candidates.

Task force opens hearings
Nov. 21There's more maneuvering in the debate over the Minnesota Twins. A tripartisan stadium task force held its first meeting Tuesday to discuss the future of professional sports facilities in the state. And attorneys for the Twins and Major League Baseball have prepared motions seeking a speedy ruling on their appeal to overturn an injunction that effectively blocks the threat of contraction.
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Twins supporters flex muscle
Nov. 19Rain and cool temperatures didn't keep several thousand Twins fans from gathering at the Metrodome to support the future of the team. At a rally coordinated by the grassroots organization Keep the Twins at Home, fans expressed support for Major League Baseball in the state.
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Judge rules against Twins
Nov. 16Hennepin County District Court Judge Harry Crump ruled that the Minnesota Twins must play baseball in the Metrodome next season. In an order filed Friday, Crump ruled in favor of the injunction request filed by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

Ventura agrees to boost Twins effort
Nov. 16Hennepin County District Court Judge Harry Crump ruled that the Minnesota Twins must play baseball in the Metrodome next season. In an order filed Friday, Crump ruled in favor of the injunction request filed by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.
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The scramble is on
Nov. 9Supporters of the Minnesota Twins are scrambling to save the franchise, after baseball owners voted 'overwhelmingly' to eliminate two unspecified franchises. But opponents of public subsidies think it's all part of a ploy to extract more public money for a major league franchise.

Organizations weigh cost of Twins loss
Nov. 8Minnesotans are pondering life without the Minnesota Twins. The team is a prime candidate for elimination if Major League Baseball carries through its intended plan to contract the league. If the Twins are shut down, businesses will lose customers. And local community organizations will lose an important benefactor.
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States prepare to get tough with baseball
Nov. 8Since 1922, Major League Baseball has enjoyed a unique exemption from antitrust laws, but that distinction may be in danger. In the wake of the league's decision to eliminate two of its 30 franchises, members of Minnesota's U.S. congressional delegation want to revoke that exemption. But they acknowledge they face an uphill battle.

Baseball owners approve contraction
Nov. 7Major League Baseball owners, searching to get control of an economic system that threatens to ruin the sport, decided Tuesday to eliminate two teams, but stopped short of selecting which two.