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).