20.4.06

mpls: Twins Stadium About Face

Just like Doug Grow, I'm gonna take a new tack here with the Twins Stadium proposal. I was at the House Tax hearing yesterday for the Twins presentation, and I'm getting much more impressed by the stadium proposal as it currently sits. Maybe it's because the Twins are getting smarter with their design, but the stadium architect said a lot of good things when he was describing the proposed stadium.

A few things I like about it:
  • It's open air (no expensive transformer roof) and the field is real grass
  • The stadium entrances will be "pedestrian oriented," which probably means they'll be at street level with a nice facade
  • It's a "green building," and uses the nearby steam plant as its heating source
  • It will be a "bridge" over the Great Northern rail corridor that currently separates the Warehouse District from the North Loop area of downtown. Presently, there's a big gulf between these two booming areas of Minneapolis, and this large stadium thing might help increase accessibility from one part of downtown to the other.
  • It will be right at the intersection of two rail transit lines and a new dedicated bike path, and will probably increase transit use throughout the greater Minneapolis area
All that, and it'll probably have the votes to pass. "Stadium fatigue" has really set in, and even the most ardent opponents seem to have lost some steam when it comes to organizing the political forces needed to stop a well-funded lobbying effort. (Just look at the Strib article if you don't believe me.)

All I know for sure: It's gotta be tought to be Phil Krinkie right about now. He's gotta feel like Sisyphus these days.

Also:

Personally, I'd like to see this proposal changed to abolish the DH.

Update:

The vote was closer than I thought:

County leaders want to enact the tax without a voter referendum, as state law requires, and they need the Legislature's approval to have the vote waived.

The committee rejected an amendment that would have required a referendum by a 15-13 vote.

4 comments:

Andrew said...

I like the idea of the Twins Stadium and all the development, transit, etc. that will come with it. However, the Twins have plenty of money right? Carl Pohlad is one of the wealthiest men in the nation. If he wants a stadium so badly, why doesn't he build it himeself. But I am sure you have heard this a hundred times. My only concern with building the Twins a brand new facility, is that there is nothing keeping the team or owner from being sold to somewhere else...The Gophers, on the other hand, are tied down as a part of the U of M and can't be sold to another state. If there were previsions in the contract with the State that the Twins would remain in the stadium for 50 years after it is completed and not be sold than you have my vote.

Driver2165 said...

carl pohlad is very rich. the minnesota twins aren't exactly a great money-making venture.

i didn't know about the green building or the bridge plan. these are exactly the kind of reasons i'm a huge supporter of the plan. the open air non-roof real grass is the most important part in my opinion, in that it's the difference between putting 40,000 people downtown on a sunny 78 F saturday and putting 9,000 (in the dome) or 15,000 (in a new dome) downtown and 25-30,000 people elsewhere. that right there is what you might call the difference between what makes a neighborhood and what doesn't.

stopleftwingnuts@gmail.com said...

This stadium is a BAD IDEA, when we built the inflatable toilet otherwise known as the metro dome we passed a sales tax increase on food and liquor in downtown Minneapolis. The dome is paid for and the tax still has not gone away. We presently pay 10% sales tax on food and 14% sales tax on liquor in downtown Minneapolis. Thats the problem with public funded stadiums long after they are paid for we keep paying the tax. I have never heard of a tax going away after it passes in Minnesota. The people of Hennepin County will only see a Micro tax and that will be here long past my great great great grand childs 60th birthday. The problem is the stadium will only be used for 20 to 30 years. When we do this will the tax go away when the dome goes away? No they have already budgeted on how to spend the money for the next 50 years.

MBrauer said...

Mr Sidewalks! I can't believe you're caving on the stadium issue! I haven't heard of "stadium fatigue", but I agree that it has to be a factor in why things are all of a sudden going towards the new ballpark. I still haven't figured out if its really law that the tax should go to a public vote, but if it did I'm confident it wouldn't pass. Mayor Quimby, er I mean Norm Coleman, tried it in St Paul a number of years back and it failed miserably. Stopleftwingnuts also has a good point about the tax being forever whereas the stadium has a limited lifetime.