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DETAILS ON TWINS BALLPARK PLAN SHOWS SEASON-TICKET QUOTAS
Published January 31, 1997
A "previously confidential draft" of a proposed plan to build a new ballpark for the Twins was released Thursday by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, and it reveals that any stadium plan cannot move forward without the Twins selling 20,000 season-tickets by December 31, '97, according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. With 9,000 season-tickets sales in '96, Twins marketing consultant Pat Forciea admitted the requirement was "pretty aggressive stuff," but Twins President Jerry Bell said that he was confident the team could reach its goal. The documents also show that "as early as one year" after a new ballpark opens, the state would be required to buy Twins Owner Carl Pohlad's share in the team for his investment in both the Twins and the new ballpark, minus tax breaks. In "a worst-case scenario," the state's buyout could cost $167M. MSFC Chair Henry Savelkoul said that the draft projection has been rejected by city officials, and final talks now center on "how to bring down the price of that buyout." OTHER NUGGETS: The ballpark plan assumes annual Twins attendance of three million in the first three years of operation. The Twins have hit this number only once in their history. Ticket prices will rise at the new ballpark. The average Twins ticket in '96 was $8.40, but projections for 2000, projected at the first year for the new ballpark, have tickets averaging $16.56. Forciea added that the Twins are "committed" to an undetermined number of seats in the $1 "range." Also, all cost overruns on the park will be absorbed by the public (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/31).