I know it has been a long road.
42,000-seat stadium that would open in 2009 in the city's historic Warehouse District
Paying for a new ballpark has been a sticking point for past proposals, but the team and the county believe they've come up with a unique funding mechanism that will cover the project's $444 million price tag without tapping into the State of Minnesota's general fund.
Under the proposal, the Twins would contribute $125 million, including a $40 million payment up front, with the balance to be paid prior to completion of construction. Hennepin County would fund its share -- including $235 million in construction costs and approximately $84 million in site development expenses -- through a countywide sales tax increase of .15 percent, or three cents on a $20 purchase.
Though the team prefers a retractable-roof stadium, the current proposal calls for an open-air facility that is not roof-ready. The estimated $100 million expense of adding a roof could be provided by the state immediately or during the construction process, but the Twins and Hennepin County are prepared to proceed with a plan to bring outdoor baseball back to Minnesota.
Among other details in the proposal, the Twins would assume responsibility for construction-cost overruns; sign a 30-year, no-escape use agreement (subject to MLB approval), and share up to 18 percent of gross franchise sales proceeds should the Pohlad family sell the team.
Looks like a good deal all around.
Outdoor baseball in Minnesota.