SBD/6/Franchises

TWINS MEET DON BEAVER: HE INKS LETTER OF INTENT TO BUY TEAM

          The Twins signed a letter of intent for the sale of the
     team to North Carolina Major League Baseball (NCMLB), LLC, a
     company led by NC businessman Don Beaver (Twins).  In MN,
     Whereatt & Weiner reported that the deal with Twins Owner
     Carl Pohlad "includes an escape clause that negates the sale
     if a new stadium is built" in MN.  The sale price wasn't
     released, but "it is thought to be about" $140M.  Under the
     agreement, the MN Legislature has until November 30 to act
     on a new facility.  After that, the team is Beaver's, who
     would own the team in the Metrodome for the '98 season and
     then move it to NC.  A MN-based buyer could offer to buy the
     team before November 30, but a new stadium would still be
     required.  Even if Beaver gains control of the team for the
     '98 season, the Pohlad family would still operate it.  The
     Twins are required by their lease to play in the Metrodome
     next season.  MN Gov. Arne Carlson said he still plans to
     call the Legislature into special session on October 21 to
     vote on a stadium financing plan, which if approved, must be
     worked out with Pohlad or a new local owner by March 1, or
     else the team is sold to Beaver (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/4). 
          SAME HYMN SHEET?  Carl Pohlad's son, Bob Pohlad:
     "People have said that this is orchestrated to put pressure
     on the Legislature.  Well, it is orchestrated to put
     pressure on the Legislature.  Of course it is" (St. Paul
     PIONEER PRESS, 10/5).  But Carl Pohlad said the letter of
     intent was "never intended to put any pressure on or give
     that impression. ... I'm sorry so far we didn't have a more
     favorable alternative" (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/4).  More Carl
     Pohlad: "No one wants to keep baseball in Minnesota more
     than I do.  There's no way this town should be without
     baseball.  Please -- do everything you can to help us" (NEWS
     & RECORD, 10/5). Beaver: "Any way you look at it, Carl gets
     leverage out of this transaction.  If he gets his stadium,
     fine.  But he's got a situation on the table with us where
     if something isn't produced [in MN], we're going to have a
     definitive contract, a binding agreement to buy this team." 
     Beaver, on his purchase offer: "[W]ith our (financial)
     projections, we ought to be all right once we get to North
     Carolina" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 10/4).  
          REAX: In MN, Dan Barreiro, on legislative action: "It
     is time to re-frame the debate and ask not whether a new
     stadium is merely good for Pohlad, but whether it is good
     for the state" (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/5). In St. Paul, Bob
     Sansevere: "Minnesotans don't want to lose the Twins, but
     they don't want to build a stadium for a billionaire,
     either.  The Pohlads are in denial on that last point.  They
     can't seem to understand why Minnesotans have a problem
     giving money to a man who ranks 123rd on the Forbes 400 list
     of wealthy Americans with $1.3 billion" (PIONEER PRESS,
     10/5).  In MN, Sid Hartman wrote that "one possible way of
     keeping the Twins" in town would be for T-Wolves Owner Glen
     Taylor "to become involved" (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/5).

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