SBD/25/Franchises

TWINS GIVEN GREEN LIGHT TO MOTOR OUT OF METRODOME

          A mediator "issued a non-binding ruling" that the Twins
     are "free to terminate the team's Metrodome lease after this
     season," according to Patrick Sweeney of the ST. PAUL
     PIONEER PRESS.  Robert Bowen, a retired judge hired by the
     Twins and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission
     (MSFC), gave his ruling yesterday.  The Twins lease allows
     them to terminate their agreement, provided they met either
     of two conditions: attendance less than 80% of the AL
     average from '95-97 and audited financial records showing a
     cumulative operating loss for the same period.  Because
     Bowen's ruling "was non-binding," the MSFC may file suit to
     try to "bind" the Twins to the lease.  MSFC Exec Dir Bill
     Lester: "We'll have to evaluate our options -- whether
     that's court or not" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/25).  MSFC
     Chair Henry Savelkoul: "The court situation will be a last,
     last, last resort" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/25).

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