SBD/31/Facilities Venues

DETAILS ON TWINS BALLPARK PLAN SHOWS SEASON-TICKET QUOTAS

          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).

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