SBD/22/Franchises

GRIFFITH OFFERS TO BUY TWINS; TEAM UNLIKELY TO SELL TO HIM

          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).

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