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GRIFFITH OFFERS TO BUY TWINS; TEAM UNLIKELY TO SELL TO HIM
Published September 22, 1997
Clark Griffith, the son of the Twins' former owner, Calvin Griffith, said Friday that he'll make an $80M offer to buy the team from Carl Pohlad and keep it in MN, according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Griffith, who is aligned with "multimillionaire publisher" Vance Opperman and St. Paul Saints Owner Mike Veeck, said the offer will come before a special legislative session tentatively set for the week of October 20 "to determine the fate of a new Twins ballpark." Griffith: "I want the Legislature to know that we're for real." But Twins President Jerry Bell said that $80M would be "inadequate," and he "dismissed Griffith as 'a fringe player.'" Noting that Pohlad has more than $100M invested in the team, Bell said, "I'd say it's too little too late." Griffith said the Twins are worth $80M in the Metrodome, where he, as an owner, would keep the team until "people want a new stadium." Griffith, on Pohlad's talks with NC businessman Don Beaver: "Don needs someone who has a team whom he can talk about having talked to. Carl needs leverage with his Legislature. Don needs this to give him credibility for the referendum he's involved with." Weiner reported that Twins officials "have said the Pohlad family has no intention of selling the team to Griffith, who has irritated them by repeatedly stating he wants to buy the team, but never delivering a serious offer" (STAR TRIBUNE, 9/20). NOTES: Pohlad, on his talks with Beaver: "We have had some very serious conversations with Charlotte, and we will have some more on the telephone this weekend." On local bidders: "Nobody has stepped to the plate. But we will talk to anybody" (Sid Hartman, STAR TRIBUNE, 9/20). Beaver: "We had some very serious discussions, though I'm not going to violate their trust by talking about them" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 9/20)....A St. Paul PIONEER PRESS editorial on a new Twins ballpark: "We can only repeat our view that the honest way to fund a Twins stadium would be with a broad metrowide tax that fairly distributes the burden of this diffuse public benefit" (PIONEER PRESS, 9/21).