MPR’s Bob Potter and Dale Connelly report from the stadium hearing held by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. Topics include various financial and lease negotiations with the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings regarding a new downtown stadium.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
(00:00:01) Well, good morning, a beautiful spring day outside are very end. Just the kind of weather that turns a person's mind to baseball. That's what we're going to be listening to for the next few minutes at the Metropolitan sports facilities commission meeting actually Arthur. We're not at the state capitol, but in the metropolitan council chambers, which is in downtown st. Paul Bob Potter here along with Dale Kylie who's been following the commission meetings the past few months the question before the commission today is whether to continue the process leading to eventual construction of the proposed Sports stadium in Downtown Minneapolis there at least a couple of major obstacles in the Stadium's path at this point one is the problem with television blackouts of football games state law saying that the games have to be televised if they're 90% sold out the National Football League saying that absolutely not the games have to be a hundred percent sold out three days before their played and the second big problem is the With the twins and Vikings sine 30 year lease has to play in the stadium the negotiations with the Vikings are going ahead indication really that the Vikings will not agree to the 30-year term but it's the twins lease that is the focus of the meeting today few weeks ago. The commission concluded that the twins could not afford to pay the rent in any new stadium. That's a major issue that Dale has been paying some attention to and what are the latest developments Dale. (00:01:30) Well Bob last yesterday evening representatives of the commission met with Peter Dorsey, who is the attorney for the Minnesota Twins to talk about the situation, of course a few weeks ago the commission took a look at the twins books and came to the conclusion that the Minnesota Twins could not afford to pay the rent required by a dome stadium or for that matter any new stadium option. It was then that this meeting that we're at now was scheduled to talk about that particular problem. Few days later Peter Dorsey announced that the twins were reconsidering their position and they would be working on it last week Dorsey and onpause the executive director of the commission met and essentially Dorsey said that the twins were still working on it negotiating with interests in the private business sector is he putted to help the team financially at this time. Nothing has been officially agreed to as far as we know. We do know that the twins are not what we do know what they are not talking about Dorsey says first of all that the twins will not be sold. He says the team is not looking for a huge outside investment in the twins organization, but that does leave a couple of possibilities yet. The most desirable according to Dorsey would be a huge increase in ticket sales, which at this point doesn't seem to like lie and certainly can't be counted on another option would be some private commitment of a guarantee of ticket sales that might involve the private interests Dorsey says he's talking to conceivably a group could get the money together to buy a certain number of season tickets to guarantee the twins so much attendance. The figure the twins need to to play isn't being bandied about though by the way, that's one of the many things that both the Twins and the stadium commission are reluctant to talk about right now while negotiations are still going on. Another option would be for the twins to have some kind of increase in their advertising Revenue the sale of the team's broadcast rights. Now, the twins are sponsored by Midwest Federal in the company's president harreld Greenwood says no comment. When asked if he's considering increasing Midwest federals payment to the twins interestingly Peter Dorsey says, he knows who he's talking to about getting more money for the twins that's obvious, but he doesn't know who the people are that are represented by the people he's talking to the indication is that there are others involved in this people. The twins own lawyer doesn't even know about Dorsey says Calvin Griffith might know who the others are but he's not sure and the leading up to this meeting then yesterday afternoon pause and Dorsey met again and essentially the same story came out that the twins are still working on it. The only difference really is that Dan brecher apparently has been convinced that there is the possibility of twins getting enough outside money to make it possible for them to play in the dome. Now leading up to this meeting some commission members were saying that if it did seem that it was not likely the twins could get that money that they would have no choice but to vote to cancel the stadium project since the law does require that the twins sign a 30-year lease record does have some influence on this commission. So it may be that he'll be able to convince the others that they should continue with the project while the twins continue to find enough money to fly in the dome, but that's one of the things that we'll have to see this morning. (00:04:41) Dale in the background, you can hear the meeting underway. It did begin right around time. We went on the air. There's a few items on the agenda before we get to the discussion of the lease negotiations, which is the item that we're primarily interested in here at the Metropolitan sports facilities Commission. Daily would seem that the question before the commission here is is (00:05:06) to whether or not to continue trying to negotiate with (00:05:09) the twins and based on on what you said earlier. It would seem that they probably will agree to go ahead and do that. (00:05:14) They probably will it's almost impossible to tell and Dan Reicher wouldn't even say yesterday whether or not he would make a recommendation to the other commission members. He may not have said anything to them Beyond just repeating whatever he was. He talked about with Peter Dorsey yesterday afternoon. And again, he may have made a recommendation if he made a recommendation, I would imagine to carry some weight. Well, of course the (00:05:37) the other major item this week will be on Friday when the house tax committee is scheduled final action on the measure repealing the 2% back up liquor tax state senate passed that repeal on February 8. I believe it was on the argument that the 2% tax is needed not only to back up the sale of the stadium bonds would also have to be used to subsidize the stadium operating costs. Feeling in the Senate was that public money shouldn't be used to subsidize the private sports teams and I was tax committee as I say we'll be dealing with that this coming Friday. Of course at that time. They also be some Alternatives offered most likely to keep the stadium alive. Just exactly what the committee will do. We don't know and I suppose that some of it may very well depend on what happens if this if this meeting here I think at this point we'll go up to the executive director of the commission Donald pause who is what item on the agenda today Liz at the discussion of (00:06:36) his talking about the status of Stadium design activities right now Architects drawings of what a stadium would be like, okay (00:06:44) Dan Donald plus we're going to be meeting. We The Architects the construction managers will be meeting with various interest groups in a stadium to get their further input during this phase. For example, we have a meeting this next Friday with with representatives of the various media the the press the electronic people to get their reaction to the facilities that are designed in this to be sure that as we come to construction period that we have considered the the interests of people that are going to be using the stadium to as fully as we possibly can. So that'll be going on during the Writing process as well as it having gone on during the design process these last many months. Mr. Chairman, you've been involved rather deeply in this process to if you have any comments on any questions from Commissioners that you may have I certainly are going to welcome any questions the process I think is moved along very, well. I indicated at our last meeting that we lost just a little time because of the entire process slowing down. It's Christmas Kristen crispness getting away on us because of the pending considerations in the legislature. But even with that the process has gone very well and I can say without any qualifications that the architectural firm were using are doing just an excellent job and that the design that has evolved is one that is being looked at With Envy. Frankly from other people and Country because it does have the features that are short of a breakthrough but giving a tremendous Stadium at a very modest cost that has been now delivered to the construction management people those the design development plans on March 5th. And I think the process is really fine. I think it's so one that given the 1977 legislation our time frame work our limited budget and the like is the best choice. I think the commission has taken the right action on it and it appears to be in very very good shape. I think it's a coming fine. Are there any questions? Uh And that was a commission chairman Dan (00:09:17) Rutger. That (00:09:20) discussion on the scoreboard. Mr. Chairman. I wanted to update the commission somewhat on the scoreboard component because it does represent a rather major element of the stadium that is not really part of the Architects design responsibility. But nonetheless, it is a component that that requires Cordon close coordination with the Architects. I'd like to pass down to it on each side of the commission table (00:09:47) drawing the if you could if you could (00:09:48) share it on each side, it will give you some idea of what we have in mind here. Not unlike it's not unlike scoreboard that you seen other Stadium certainly, but I want you to see that the detail of this one. Oh now they're going to talk a little bit about the scoreboard. That would be a proposed for a new stadium. One of the items that has to be dealt with is just one of great number of things that have to be resolved before this can be gone under way and the executive director down faucet showing a diagram of what the proposed scoreboard would look like. That will own they and the the advertisers the major advertisers will own the sign for approximately a 15-year period now, the the terms are subject to negotiation and the the the lease on a scoreboard obviously will have to be brought to the commission and reviewed in great detail before anything is consummated but the general principle that's employed here as in many other stadiums in the country is that the sign company and the end its major Advertiser will own the sign for up to a 15 year period and will amortize the cost of the sign which is estimated to be somewhere between one and a quarter and one and a half million dollars. Well amortize the cost of that sign through advertising revenues over that 15-year period And once the sign cost is amortized then the commission shares heavily somewhere between fifty and a hundred percent of all advertising revenues from there on out in the commission owns the sign the sign will be operated by by commissioned employees during the entire period the side of the the messages on the sign and so forth will be the advertising messages will be subject to the scrutiny and approval of the commission to assure that it's not used for purposes that aren't intended the the sign will have the capabilities that you've seen in stadiums around the country of in as Illustrated on these drawings. That's the purpose of my handing it to you showing not only the current activities that are going on at the Ballpark the score and so forth the scoring at the game at the ballpark, but as well. Able to show scores around the very around the league will be able to put messages on the message board as well as to advertise and will be able to by using the large Message Board to actually participate somewhat in the game with some of the with some of the the signer and some of the activities again, you see another stadiums commissioner gauge, mr. Foswell. This have replay capabilities and hasn't been fully determined yet. I don't think it will have replay capabilities. But that is still that is still a subject of negotiation. The company that we're dealing with is American sign on indicator, which has installed virtually all the signs in recent stadiums. They have just completed installing a sign like this in RFK Stadium in Washington DC which is a stadium, of course that has had scoreboard previous and is actually having it second scoreboard installed. They did not have the various the various Alternatives and options in their old sign that they have in the new one, but the lease that was signed with the people in Washington DC after being reviewed by myself and my staff appears to be an excellent model for the type of the type of lease that we would have the entire installation. Then the entire Capital cost installation is paid for by the sign company and its major Advertiser including I might say the wiring the That's necessary to power the sign and so forth and the operational costs of the maintenance costs. I should say of the computer and so forth are as well of paid for by the by the assigned installer and the advertising major Advertiser on it. So it's an excellent opportunity to acquire a major component of the stadium outside if you will outside of as an outside contribution by using these advertising revenues to pay for the installation. Any other question Don can you tell us the dollar value of that the approximate dollar value? The approximate dollar value of the sine is 1 on a quarter to one and a half million dollars yet. The firm figure is not yet been established, but it's up to a million and a half dollars. Okay, are there any question from commission members? And the next item on the agenda is the one that we're interested in and that's the discussion over the lease negotiations people from Bloomington to give the discussion on the 24th Avenue Improvement. Mr. Chairman. I believe that the people have arrived guess we missed one day are going to be talking about Webster some Street changes here is that right? (00:15:19) Apparently at the beginning of the meeting they altered some of the item the agenda items I say they will be talking now about proposed changes and 24th Avenue in Bloomington around the prison Stadium site. (00:15:34) Well, let's let me just chapter a bit here while this is going on about some of the things that could be going on in the house tax committee meeting is coming Friday. As you know, the committee is scheduled to final action on the measure repealing the 2% liquor tax, but there will undoubtedly be proposals made to keep the stadium alive, of course if the house of Full House where I go along With the Senate vote in repealing the liquor tax and if the governor were to sign that that would that would essentially put an end to the issuance of the stadium construction bonds, since those bonds have to have some sort of tax back up. Well among the Alternatives that may come up on Friday one. I think we can say for sure Almost sure is one can be displayed anyway is proposal by representative Al patent the chief author the 1977 Stadium law to replace the two percent tax on the seven County area. Once the stadium is built and keep it only on the City of Minneapolis. This according to estimates would raise about 1.3 million dollars, which is the estimated deficit the estimated operating deficit for the downtown Minneapolis stadium and representative patents provision would also repeal the section of the law requiring that 90% the blackout provision that games be televised if they're 90% sold out that would course get at the problem of the National Football League has and at the Vikings have in signing their 30-year lease agreement with the with the commission then representative, very pleasant from Bloomington and independent Republican is probably going to be offering a proposal that would authorize the construction of a new on domed Stadium in the city of Bloomington or possibly an option to remodel the existing Metropolitan Stadium at proposal by representative Pleasant would also involve some changes in the bonding limits that were set in the 1977 law (00:17:33) the other (00:17:34) aspect of Representative Pleasants proposal that is a some interest is that he would shift the backup tax from the 2% liquor by the drink on sale tax in the seven County area to a 2% wholesale tax that's a little more difficult to administer because there are lots of different liquor read or liquor wholesalers and it's sometimes difficult to tell just exactly where a particular Under item comes from whether it's metro area or non metro area. But at any rate, it would be a wholesale tax would eliminate the complaints that the bar owners have had about the about the on sale tax and it would also be a backup tax only because presentative Pleasant and the supporters of Bloomington believe that the stadium in Bloomington would be completely self supporting. The reason for that is that the revenue from parking would make up the difference between what the stadium actually brings in and what's needed to pay off the bonds and pay all the operating costs and everything else a couple of other proposals are floating around or at least they were at the beginning of the week. They haven't really gelled yet exactly one perhaps by representative Bill Schreiber from Brooklyn Center. He's thinking about a couple of things and may or may not have an amendment and the telephone just went off the possibility that representative schreiber's thinking about Let the commission reverse its decision to build the stadium in Minneapolis, as you know, the 1977 law required the stadium are the commission to make a decision by December 1st of 1978 on where to build a stadium and they simply could not reverse that decision. Now unless the law were changed that would allow the commission to go for the Bloomington option. If in fact they decided that would be a better decision at this point. Another possibility is a author a law authorizing the commission to build simply a nun domed Stadium either in Minneapolis or Bloomington or conceivably anyplace else, but I think that it's fairly obvious to options are Minneapolis and Bloomington. Now, the questions are what will representative Pharisee do with with either of these with any of these Alternatives. Will he consider them acceptable or will he insist upon repealing the 2% backup liquor tax how will the committee vote the indications have been all along that the vote was very close in the committee on the repeal of the liquor tax. What would the Senate do if there was an alternative adopted by the house tax committee and subsequently adopted on the house floor. And what would Governor Qui do the governor has been maintaining a position of absolute neutrality. And if not neutrality. I guess we might say silence on the matter. He's not going to indicate to the legislature what he thinks it ought to do been having some meetings with legislative leaders and well-publicized meeting with Minneapolis business interests, but he's not really said publicly what he favors on the stadium (00:20:33) Bob the young meeting has gone into a five minute recess. Oh while the people from Bloomington set up some projectors and maps and what-have-you of proposed alterations in 24th Avenue South near the present Stadium site. And one of the people from Bloomington told me that they'll be spending about five minutes on that presentation. So it's going to be another few minutes before we get to the item. We're really interested in and that of course is the discussion With the commission of the lease negotiations between the Twins and the Vikings the twins lease negotiations, of course is the one that we're particularly interested in this point because the Revelation was made a few weeks ago that the twins couldn't afford to play in any domed stadium in Downtown Minneapolis or for that matter any new stadium option and Commissioners are going to be considering that Revelation in light of of their plans to build a stadium and it's possible that someone could decide that the stadium should not be built simply because it would be difficult. Well, it would be against the law to try to build the stadium without having the twins sign a 30-year lease daily. I see representative Pharisee just in back of us here. I'm going to go over and try (00:21:47) to visit with him for a few minutes. So why don't you keep visiting with the folks here while I extricate myself? Okay. (00:21:56) We're a little cramped here. We are in a corner near the Front of the Metropolitan council chambers pushed up against a post with all kinds of TV cameras. And what have you around us and it's a little squeeze but I think Bob is finally managed to extricate himself and he's going to go find representative Pharisee and talk a little bit with him about his plans for stadium bills in the state legislature and see exactly what he's thinking of doing in light of whatever may happen in this particular meeting on the subject of negotiations between the Twins and the interests in the private business sector right now. It's almost impossible at times to get anyone to say very much about it because there are negotiations that are going on, of course between the Twins and these unnamed people in the private sector a good example would be yesterday afternoon's meeting between Peter Dorsey and Dan Brett GE with the stadium commission Executives. And what have you but right now I think we have a few minutes to go over to Bob Potter who's out in the Room now and he's going to be talking to representative (00:23:01) Pharisee. Okay, representative Pharisees visiting with some reporters right now and let's just pick up on that conversation (00:23:08) Continuum of that money coming in if we know that the books are in that bad of shape. What's the guarantee that five years from now? I think that whoever the angels are step out of the picture or decide that they've got the money that they want to use in some other fashion and not support the community in a sense though. You're still running that risk with the twins. What if they go down the tubes, even if they had signed a 30-year lease, correct, but one of the charges that this Sports facility commission had was to look at the financial structure of those organizations. They apparently found that the Vikings were financially sound and apparently also had a pretty hot commodity they have found that the twins aren't financially sound in the sense that they the remark that was made in committee and I only going to say what I heard and that was that he paused did not believe the the twins could play in any Radium much less dome stadium that they don't have the financial situation to play in any Stadium. Okay, that is supposed to be a consideration in any one of these leases as you know ability to pay and I think we've got a an obvious acknowledgement now that they don't have the ability to pay without some outside help which outside help is not committed to the 30-year term and it just doesn't make sense representative. We're (00:24:23) broadcasting live here in Minnesota Public (00:24:25) Radio. What about the other day? They were like, (00:24:29) what is going to be your intention on Friday with the liquor tax repeal Bill? (00:24:33) Well, I intend to pursue it and I think I'm going to be bringing up some of the facts. We've just talked about here to the committee and say it just doesn't make any sense that we're going to wait for the twins to somehow get momentarily financially sound because it is that the best I've been able to determine it will only be a momentary thing and what happens down the line if the persons who are talking about coming to their rescue our Interested in talking about signing 30-year guarantees, and we may be able to see that the twins signing a lease at this time make some sense, but I don't see how it makes any sense. Even if these angels do appear. (00:25:14) What about the possibility of some of the Bloomington site? For example, I know that think representative of pleasant is going to be proposing an amendment on that score. Was that something that you would cooperate on or (00:25:24) not? I haven't really given a lot of thought to that. I know that Ray and some of his people have and I don't know what he's done as far as counting votes, but that may be something that more of the committee members are disposed towards I think a lot of them wish to come out with keeping the Vikings in Minnesota. I think it's a I think some of them resent how they have been in a sense pressured by saying you the legislators will be responsible for their leaving but I think that there's a genuine concern of keeping them and I think they'll be trying to find Alternatives and I don't know how the committee will vote on those. If they have come before them to call it Friday. Oh, you better believe I am in roll calls every one of them. I want to see just how they feel about this (00:26:08) representative or a Pharisee visiting. There was a few reporters representative Pharisee the author of The the liquor tax repeal bill in the Minnesota house. (00:26:19) Okay. Thank you Bob Potter out on the middle of the room here at the Metropolitan council chambers talking with representative Pharisee and the meeting has gotten underway again with a presentation from people from Bloomington about proposed changes in the roads 24th Avenue South around the stadium site the present Stadium site in Bloomington south of the Twin Cities. What's that continues? We were in the process of telling you beforehand about the twins financial situation and the negotiations that are going on. You may have heard representative Pharisee mentioned a couple of times Angels. That's the term that's being used to describe the unidentified private business interests who may be getting into the stadium issue here with some kind of financial support for the twins who course cannot right now by themselves afford to pay the rent that would be required in a dome stadium or any new stadium option as part of the discussion yesterday with Peter Dorsey and Dan Brecker and reporters who had gathered for that particular meeting things were pretty vague really for instance when Brett gurewitz asked whether or not he would be making a recommendation to the commission this morning. I'm whether or not they should go ahead with stadium plans. He just kept saying we'll see he was asked. Name whatever names he knows of people who are thinking of giving money to the twins the so-called angels He was asked if he would tell the commission members about those people give them any names. He just said we'll see (00:27:56) Veil. Is there any sign of how much money the twins may need to afford the (00:28:01) rent? It's another thing that's not being talked about simply because it is a subject of negotiations and the twins aren't willing to talk about it. The commission isn't willing to talk about it. I think it's reasonable to assume that it's a large amount of money certainly in the millions of dollars because it would have to continue over 30 years. The twins have a pretty good deal where they are right now because (00:28:24) not only are they paying relatively low rent compared to what they'd pay a new stadium, but they're also getting the concession Revenue are they not (00:28:30) the getting all the consensus Revenue Assurance all the concession Revenue some of it goes back to the commission, which is then distributed to the Vikings and the kicks. But right now the deal they have is that they get all the concession revenue and the commission's Predisposition in the past and we assume right now is that they will not allow that to continue. There will be a new concessions agreement. That's one of the things the twins are trying to work out with the commission. And when asked about that yesterday Dan brecher said that the commission needs to have a certain amount of income to run a stadium. Some of that is being expected from commission from concessions Revenue, but that if the commission can get that money some way some other way as long as they meet their requirements, but the amount of money they should get that's all they're concerned about. So it's possible still that they will negotiate on that on that whole question of concessions and perhaps give the twins a little more than they're willing to give them whether they have been willing to give them. I don't know that it would be the same kind of deal they have now where they do get all the concessions but it might be something similar. It's one of the topics of negotiations still and no one is really sure how far the commission can move whereas willing to On the subject of (00:29:44) concessions. Is there any indication what form the age from the so-called Angels might take would it be in the form of outright grants or (00:29:55) gifts or just what it's more certain right now exactly what form it will not take it will not take the form of someone purchasing the team out, right? It will not take the form of a large investment in the twins company the the ownership of the club. It might take the form of more advertising revenue or more rub more money for purchase of the twins broadcast rights something that's currently handled Now by Midwest Federal and it might also take the form of some kind of guaranteed attendance. Meaning that someone would buy a certain number of season tickets to be sure that the twins have that guaranteed income. It's not certain though. Those are just a couple of options and I suppose that those could come up or anything else could come up really because they're being so secretive about it. It's really impossible to tell Peter Prince Peter. Darcy was asked about that guarantee of season tickets and he was asked if maybe 12,000 guaranteed season tickets would solve the team's problems. That's about it, you know guaranteed million attendance and the twins just by themselves last season only Drew seven hundred thousand seven hundred and seventy thousand. I think Dorsey said, I wish I could answer that that precise question. I can't right now depends on other things but it would sure be a nice thing. You know, that's that's really a non-answer and it's a non-answer for a reason because negotiations are going on and he doesn't believe he can talk about (00:31:23) it. Well, is there any sign how long these negotiations are going to continue? I mean at some point they've got to either decide they can do it or they (00:31:29) can't it's another question that was asked yesterday can't say we just can't say (00:31:34) first one of the one of the problems. (00:31:36) All (00:31:36) of this deal is that the whole process has now been dragged on much longer than than had originally been anticipated. I think that the Metropolitan council is going to try to get the stadium Bond sold by well by this week by the middle of March and obviously that's a long way off. The delays are costing money. Lots of my I think that either Dan record on passes said that with each week that passes they cost of the stadium Rises by $100,000 by law the stadium bonds there can be no more than 55 million dollars in stadium construction bonds sold at some point. I think the commission has said that by about the first of June or thereabouts or July construction has to be underway or the costs will simply simply exceed that 55 million dollar limit and the other problem with inflation is the interest rate. The 77 Stadium law says that the The interest rate on these construction bonds can be no more than seven and a half percent several weeks ago. Dan brecher said that the interest rate or I think maybe it was someone from the Metropolitan Council said that the interest rate was around seven point one percent maybe 7.2% and going up. So at some point with the way the interest rates in the money markets are going to seven and a half percent limit will be reached and then when it gets to 7.5 1% it'll be too late. They won't be able to sell those (00:33:06) bonds. Right? And you know, another thing about that of course is that there isn't much room financially for the stadium to get in now when they chose the domain option, it was somewhere in the area of 51 million dollars to build it 55, I believe is the figure that was allocated by the legislature and you have to consider as part of that 55 million dollars other costs such as architectural drawings and what have you the work that Architects have been doing for the past year on this that's already taken up a couple of million dollars. There's very very little room and a small delay really Could make the stadium too expensive. One of the things that the commission is still working on is to obtain a (00:33:50) guaranteed (00:33:51) cost estimate from a construction management company. Essentially the company would say this is how much the project is going to cost that would have to come in within the guidelines. So if the lease agreement problems are cleared up if the blackout problem is cleared up if the stadium tax isn't repealed by the time all that happens. There may be another problem later on with getting someone to guarantee that the stadium can be built for the amount of money that the he needs to be built for. Of (00:34:19) course. The reason behind that is to prevent cost overruns like we have seen just this past month with the new the proposed new prison, but actually the construction has begun on the prison and now it's reveal the past week or so that only price has gone up by ten million dollars more than the legislature authorized a couple years ago or last year. So (00:34:43) For (00:34:43) the purpose of getting those construction price guarantees is to prevent that kind of thing from happening with the sports Stadium. I think the conclusion that we're slowly leading up to Dale is it there's just an awful lot that still is not known yet about this about the stadium proposal. There is still an awful lot of things that have to be cleared up before we know before we even know if there's going to be one built much less if it's going to be this particular design and type of pay that the commission has been talking to (00:35:16) one of the things about this particular meeting is that someone could come along and make a proposal one of the commission members the project be dropped if that happens then the dome stadium is is essentially killed Dead plug pulled whatever term you want to use for it. By the same token if they don't do anything today the project continues one of the things about this particular week that was talked about at the beginning would be that this week would decide the future of the stadium. Well every week really decides the future of the stadium depending upon whether it's killed or whether or not it continues. It appears that the chances for a serious change in stadium plans is greater this week than than many of the weeks. We've seen over the past few months and there's really no way to tell and as long as there are plans to build a stadium until the stadium is actually finished. I suppose there will always be a chance that the project could be canceled even even once construction (00:36:13) begins. And of course if the project is voted down at this point, I think that we can assume that there will be proposals for new stadiums coming up all the time at least until until one of the team's leaves and maybe then even proposals there. (00:36:31) The (00:36:32) thing about the commission daily interest me is that the vote to build in Minneapolis was by no means unanimous. In fact, it was for 23 was it not (00:36:42) it was very close four two three, right? (00:36:44) So, how do how does that vote affect the Dynamics of this meeting here? (00:36:49) Well, it depends on how the three people who voted against the stadium in the first place view this meeting if they view it as an opportunity to change the December first decision and possibly move towards the decision that was preferred by the three people who voted against it then they may they may bring up the issue to kill the stadium and vote on it the same way again today with two of the people Kelly gauge and Richard radmann who voted against the stadium of the beginning had a preferred option. They would have liked to see a remodeled Metropolitan stadium for baseball and an open football stadium at the present Bloomington site. They thought that was the best option and the third person who voted Against the dome stadium Marion Cannon seemed to be leaning in that direction of his she consider data a reasonable option if they see this as an opportunity to change the stadium design and site to the Preference. They had December 1st could come up and then all they would really need would be one of the other members to change their vote We Know Dan Brecker isn't going to change his vote. He essentially said that yesterday as for the other three, there's no way to tell until until they do cast their votes assuming of outcomes up. (00:38:01) There was no indication on December 1st that some of them were a little softer on the on the downtown site than others. Well (00:38:10) radmann 41 commissioner radmann said once the decision was made that he was going to to continue (00:38:17) with (00:38:19) well, he was he was going to support the option that the commission chose as far as the people who actually voted for the Dome as to whether they were wavering on it at all. There was really no indication that anyone Was was straddling the fence on that those who voted in favor of it seemed to be solidly in favor of it and those who voted against word pretty solidly against (00:38:41) this point the commission members are listening to a proposal from the city of Bloomington to I guess change the route of 24th Avenue off in Bloomington that must be the road that leads to the existing Stadium. This is one of the stadium commission. I think this meeting is pointing out deals with a lot of things that don't necessarily get a whole lot of the tension talk about the scoreboard. For example, I would suspect some people may think well, that's really putting the cart before the horse to talk about a scoreboard when we have named, you know, for sure. So many questions unsettled about the about the project itself. What else what other kinds of things does this commission deal (00:39:21) with? Well, the commission is responsible course for the operation of all the sports facilities in the Twin Cities area. Not just the current Metropolitan Stadium. But the Met Sports Center, which is also out of the Bloomington Side if somebody wants to use the facilities for one purpose or another of course, it comes before the commission if somebody wants to use the parking lot out of Bloomington for some kind of Convention of mobile home owners, they could do that. It all has to come to this commission. They're responsible for it also. Yes, they do deal with quite a bit of things which some of us might view as mundane. It's not all fun and excitement. I (00:40:00) think another interesting little aspect of this is that the operation of course of the Metropolitan stadium was taken over by the commission and when Metropolitan stadium was built probably back in when about 56 or 55 somewhere around in there the cities of Minneapolis and Bloomington and I think Richfield went together and guaranteed the the construction Bonds on the property tax our general obligation bonds. And as I recall, there's still something like 7567 million dollars of those bonds still outstanding and with the commission taking this this process over the burden of those bonds as I understand. It has fallen not only just to go cities but to the entire seven-county metropolitan area that doesn't necessarily mean that there's going to be any problems for anyone but it's just a little notion that some folks who had not necessarily even been around some cities that are not even been around that participated in the decision to build that Stadium are now in some respects people in those areas are burying some financial responsibility. Although necessarily very big one times. This is a thing that happens sometimes at these meetings of this nature they began and items. Particularly interested in is sometimes a little bit later in the agenda than like (00:41:38) they're going a little longer with this than they had intended to also. Apparently the Commissioners are asking a number of questions about this particular Road repair proposal in Bloomington. One of the interesting things about that side. And Bloomington is is that if the stadium is built in Downtown Minneapolis, there are questions about what will happen to that site in Bloomington. Of course, the Met SportsCenter will stay as it is, but there will be no need for the Metropolitan Stadium as it exists now and one of the things the commission will have to decide assuming that the Minneapolis Dome does go up will be what to do with that property. There have been some discussions of selling it to a private business interests for development of more hotels in the kind of thing that it's already there in the way of hotels motels surrounding the airport for people coming in and out of the Twin Cities. Apparently, it's a it's a good area for that kind of development and May Actually yield more income for the commission which could go towards building the stadium in Downtown Minneapolis. That's one of the things they'll have to decide as things progress here. (00:42:41) I think there's some proposals even deal that they would that the commission would continue to own the property, but would rent it out which could lead to substantial yearly income for the commission that could help subsidize the operating cost of downtown Minneapolis Stadium. If it is built the law is a little bit unclear about about that at least in the minds of some members of the legislature. I recall sitting through a hearing at which one of the sports commission people went through this proposal of renting the existing land out there course, they did they might very well raised. In fact, I'm sure they would raise the existing stadium and then developers would come in maybe put up a hotel and Shop complexes and things like that from which the commission with that derive rent. There was some question by by committee members about whether the law. Allowed for that kind of thing the feeling among some of the legislators was that the commission was required to actually sell the property and that's one of the things that we could see a future Stadium dispute arising (00:43:46) over. It's becoming a little more clear exactly what it is. They're talking about if you've been out to the stadium bump, you may notice that 24th Avenue South on the east side of the current Stadium complex is not a four-lane road like the road on the other side is and right now what they're talking about is expanding that into a four-lane road to improve access entry and exit to the current Stadium site again, that may seem to be a little premature considering that no one is really sure what's going to be going on out there. But you have to remember that the current Metropolitan Sports Center is still there and whatever is going on around land that the commission owns is of course of interest to the commission. So they have to have this kind of presentation so that at least you know, they'll know how it will affect the property that they have (00:44:39) is this a proposal that the commission would pay for the remodeling event rotor with it. Now city of Bloomington In the state. (00:44:46) I don't think so. It's I'm not sure I tell you the truth. I really don't know. One of the other things this sort of points up the way the commission operates Bob because with the current plans for the domed stadium, they are doing a lot of things that may seem premature such as talking about the scoreboard such as talking about architectural designs such as talking about getting construction management guarantee for the cost of construction. Don Post explained it to me one time and that this is called a critical path sequence. They're going through they can't do things in order. They can't say for instance. We will be sure that the stadium would be built now, we will go get a scoreboard. And once we get the scoreboard, we will decide how much it will cost to build things in sequence that way because if they took everything in its own time, it would take several years to eventually get to the point where construction began so they do everything at once and some things that logically shouldn't happen until afterwards often happened first with the condition that certain things will occur later on and that's just one of the things that's going on now with the commission. (00:45:53) Of course here in Minnesota the items affecting the Stadium's future or the commission meeting today and the house tax committee meeting on Friday. There are developments in Hawaii of all places that also could have an impact on this that has to do with course with the NFL meeting going on out there the situation with the Vikings is on the agenda apparently was put there by the Los Angeles Rams who are moving to Anaheim and are interested in what would happen in the city of Los Angeles should shoot a team be invited to come in there. And of course the Los Angeles is one of the cities that has been suggested as an alternative for the Vikings if they should leave Minnesota. Do you have any any indications deal of what's been going on at that NFL meeting or has that been just about as quiet as the negotiations with the twins? (00:46:49) It's been just about as quiet as this meeting for at so far. So far nothing has come up as far as I know concerning the Vikings. I think that we may be getting onto the agenda item or interested in now concerning the lease negotiations with the twins and Vikings. Why don't we we Bloomington people are (00:47:09) taking down their maps and charts. The lights are coming back on (00:47:12) and chairman. The Brecker is about I (00:47:16) think to announce the discussion on the lease negotiations. Let's go to Chairman Brecker. I have a little smile because it seems that the public perceives a commission as only looking at a site and possibly building a new stadium and it reminds me that we're still very much involved in operations and that is fully one of our major assignments. And I think that type of business represents the things that we are charged with and that we will continue to do regardless of what happens on a possible new facility and a i regarded as important and I appreciate the commission's attention to those details and their concern of making them operate in a very Efficient businesslike manner, I think we've been consistent on that. Our next item I on the agenda is a report on the lease negotiations and I get like to tell the commission that we have been negotiating on a regular basis and that we had a meeting yesterday with the twins that I regarded as rather important and the chief negotiator for the twins Peter Dorsey came before Don pasta night yesterday after having been at a meeting with the board of directors in Orlando with the twins board of directors. And he brought with him some optimism on his part that it certainly was worthwhile to continue negotiating. And made several statements that I think are important one of them. He emphasized that he was speaking for the board of directors and that he was negotiating in behalf of the board of directors and that no other officer of the organization was really representing the negotiations and he made a very strong point of that for his own reasons. I'm not sure what they are, but they that it was a board of directors that was concerned about the possible 30 or leaks and his point he made is that the twins do want to play in Minnesota and that they will make every effort to negotiate a 30 or leaks. They have no intention to move. They said they do not want to sell the team. They expressed hope at least could be arrived at and they re emphasize their strong position that they wanted to play in a downtown domed facility. The hope that they have like lies mostly with the fact that they will be looking for independent outside help. They understand and agree with us that the commission has very little position to negotiate on that we have from a rent standpoint presented a package that is necessary to operate a facility. They recognize that we have consistently said that we will run it on a businesslike basis. We have at an early stage in November presented figures and projections that we feel are necessary and to have that particular income. And even in the press conference after a while Peter Darcy said, yes, they agree with the chairman that the commission has. Very little room to negotiate it on rent basis so that they are. Looking for some outside help. I think one of the things that is necessary to report is that there is no timetable for say the timetable that we've been working under is one that the commission has set. And we have established deadlines really at our option. The law does not mandate that we have a specific deadline prudent business considerations. Do good planning does for instance our insistence on having the league aren't he's before December one. I think was a very important deadlines that that we worked for and we try to achieve and we did it Chief. So we set these deadlines and we work hard at them and we precipitate action on the part of other people and quite frankly, I think our announcing that we felt that the twins under the present conditions and their own Revenue projections did not have sufficient money to sign a 40 30 year lease. I think it precipitated action on the part of a lot of people and mostly the twins My feeling that these actions are independent of what the commission does that we have to operate our decisions our policies on the basis of the 1977 law. We're not in a race with anybody to achieve any particular conclusion if there's any objectives as to hitting and achieving a date of sign leases, it would be in the interest of dovetailing those leases with the targets of construction start with the idea that the construction funds are sufficient because if we miss a early construction beginning date Then we may not have a stadium because of the capital funds available, but we're not in a race with anybody. We are not advocating any changes in the law. We are are not sending proposals over to the legislature matter of fact, the commission hasn't done anything but it's regular work since legislature came in session many things have happened but none of them caused by the commission. I think if we've had any criticism the criticism to me has been a compliment in my way of thinking in that people said we're being a little tough and that we're being asking maybe too much and that we are insisting on living by our projections. But I've said we're not going to give the farm away. That's not our business. The 1977 law clearly said what we could do and what we could not do I've said from day one that this commission would work within the Mandate of that law and if in the end result there was no Stadium because we could not achieve what the law insisted on then there would not be I felt that the 1977 law was a good law and that we could live with it with the exception of maybe the TV blackout item. but that we could live with every other detail of it and we have developed projections that are realistic and that would make us a self-sustaining operating The on break even in a very early date, I think when I mentioned in my December first statement that we could achieve that as early as 1987. I think that was realistic and the way we continue to visit if we can achieve the leases that can be achieved and the whole basis of our Accent on December 1st was simply that we were really only going to use startup cost and backup cost out of the present law and the startup cost in my estimation was only about 3.6 million dollars it that was required from a liquor fund. So we continue to negotiate with them and I would like to report the commission that I have hope that at least can be achieved. I have no commitment or any personal goal to achieve one. If it cannot we cannot get what we need. Then we won't have a lease and if we don't have at least we won't have a stadium and that doesn't bother me at all of the important thing is that we stick to our position that we're going to do it. Right and we won't do it any other way. That's been the position we've had that's a position we're taking in negotiations and we want to achieve our income projections in order to enter into any leases. And so when the twins go for outside help, I regard that as their business and not a commission business if they can deliver the funds we need for the lease. We'd be prepared to offer them a lease in that that amount. I am urging that the commission continue negotiating with the twins. And with the Vikings no action is needed on the part of commission because we already have a proposal. And I base it on several things one is the hope that we can get the proper leases and to is a fact that it really doesn't cost us anything to do that. We already have our design development plans delivered to us on March 5th. They're bought and paid for we made the commitment for the getting the firm price which will come about April 15th thereabouts. And so we have really a no-cost area going on between now and April 15th. That doesn't mean that I would encourage the twins or the Vikings to take that long. I think we will insist on negotiating very seriously and on a week-by-week basis that It would it we would have deadlines that would be realistic. I can't establish that deadline now, but I would say that in 30 days for sure, but the objective would be to really tear into it and try to achieve leases in in a Time less than that. There is no such thing as a flexible deadline, but that's about the way it comes you leave the leave the pressure on and you make every effort to achieve it. With the Vikings we visited with them. Our rat poor is very good. The least terms that we've offered to both are really expensive packages for them. There's no question about it, but we haven't kidded about that and we haven't changed on that maybe complaints now and then that we're being too tough to hard-nosed We're Not absent of their needs were not afraid to listen to details and their considerations and will be willing to visit with them, but they know that it takes so much to operate it and that this commission has really said right along as a very responsible body body that we won't do it unless it works. So they're aware of that. I think there's strong hope that we can achieve leases with both teams and I would hope that we could do that. So now after that's my report on the negotiations, and I'd be very happy to welcome any discussion. Commissioner Edmund. (00:59:16) I'm very disturbed on the timing there on December 1. We said to the Met Council that we're going to have agreements finalized with the Vikings and the twins on January 15th this three and a half months later. We also stated that we hope to have the bonds issued by March 1. This is March 15th, and got two more months possibly before you can even think of issuing bonds. If everything else works. I want to ask you How long are we going to negotiate with the twins before we come up with a lease that they would agree upon? We have to set some data and I also disagree with you on the cost. You says it's not going to cost us anymore. You know that it's going every day that delay. It costs in construction every single day of don't delay cost. Well, I've heard a lot of figures but we all know that it's going to cause quite a bit more. So I'm very disturbed on the timing there and unless we can come up with these leases. Very very suddenly. We're going to be in a lot of trouble because the state legislature is in session now and if we got if we have to go back to the drawing board, I'm sure the state legislature is going to make the decision. We can't go any further. (01:00:51) Okay, Sir Edmund. Now those are very good points my reference to no additional cost now is that the firm cost bid won't be in until about April 15th. So any negotiations that happen between now and then that time is really a no cost to us the fact that the April 15th is about 30 days later than we really would like to have had. It is a very real cost and I indicated at our meeting before that. We had slipped about 30 days and I indicated that you just lose the edge when there are so many factions saying that we might do this we might do that when they're rest heavy uncertainties when there's a cloud of Doubt over a project even those people at at Drawing boards don't produce just as they would if they said hey, this thing is great. It's hot. It's ready to go. We've tried to keep that Temple up and I'd like to really your point about that. We can't give them forever is absolutely true dick. We're just going to have to say look you have Thirty Days three weeks two weeks and whatever it is is going to have to be one as a you produce. And if you don't have by then you don't have a stadium, you know, you'll have to get it from somebody else because this commission is no longer negotiating with you. (01:02:20) Well, I just want to see how the Twins were less than honest with us. When I November 18th, they appeared and said hey, we'll go we've got the money will go along with you. It doesn't bother us at all. We will go for a the rent on a downtown Dome on December 1 the day we made the decision president of twins said, I don't think we can afford it. (01:02:45) Mr. Chairman, yes, if I can just amplifying a couple of things that that you said (01:02:49) Don pasta executive director of the (01:02:51) commission created by by news releases or comments by members of the twins representatives of the twins or twins officials. Other than those that are negotiating with us. So that are talking to us and they tend to represent things a little bit differently than what they actually are a little bit differently than what The Negotiator would I think it's only fair that the commission realize and the public realize that there hasn't been any great amount of effective in depth negotiating up until just recently very frankly. The twins is a commissioner Redmond pointed out somewhat early on said we simply can't afford, you know to play in the state and we can't afford those terms of the very terms that on October and November they and everyone perhaps in his room had access to But the point is that there had been little negotiating from that time on because they simply said they couldn't afford it and we went and confirmed that we had access to to their experts their comptroller and we confirm that the twins cannot afford to play in a new stadium and I want to underscore something else right now in a new stadium not in a dome stadium, but in a new stadium the twins cannot afford to play without some sort of outside assistance. That means any new Stadium built any place in the metropolitan area under the provisions in the constraints of the existing law. They cannot afford play without some kind of assistance. It was only in very recent days and confirmed confirmed yesterday in our meeting with the twins Representatives that we became assured that there is some assistance being Furniture the twins the twins representative acknowledge that there is precious little flexibility in in our part given the constraints of the law and very frankly. I was persuaded up until that meeting yesterday and the events of the couple days preceding I was persuaded that the twin simply could not cut it in that Stadium nor in any other one as of yesterday. I am persuaded that there has been substantial movement in the way of some sort of outside assistance that will possibly precipitate a lease with a Twins. And I think that I would join a chairman and urging you to allow this process now to go on now that it is effectively Going on has effectively started that you allow it to go on on a week-by-week basis and very frankly if the movement stops if it appears that there's going to be no further movement. I consider it a waste of my time and a waste of the commission's time to continue to continue on if we're simply flogging a dead horse and we would I'm sure come back to you and so advise you and I asked you to take the appropriate action to discontinue that flogging of a dead horse. So just to emphasize that the twins cannot afford to play in any stadium. So we're dealing here not just with a single with the the single Stadium issue at hand engage. (01:06:05) I suppose it's only sensible that the negotiations go on. But but I do share a commissioner admins concern back in November the twins (01:06:15) management either did not know what their own financial situation (01:06:20) was which would be taken as assignment confidence in most areas or number two. They deliberately lied to a spot. Now either of those are serious situations, perhaps we can work out at least with (01:06:36) them, but it seems to me that (01:06:39) what must happen in the twins organization is more than just working out at least whether all that can be or not. I don't know but I'd like to ask another question if we do get forward with the lease with the twins in the Vikings. How do we stand with the Minnesota Legislature? And we made a commitment to them not to issue bonds until they're through with whatever they're doing over there or (01:07:00) what the whole process has been very independent of anything that is being done in the legislature. Everything we've done has been purely consistent with the 1977 long. We have had no requests that have come to my attention to hold anything up to act any differently than under the 1977 law so that they could Repeal the law could change it substantially and my personal position is that they wrote the law they wish to change it. It's their prerogative. They are the governing body of the state. We as a commission have not asked them to make any changes. None of us were part of drafting the law. I think all of us were dedicated to implementing the law. So whatever change happens there, I think in my mind has been completely independent of our actions. If on Friday, they change it or repeal it or uphold it we move from there and we've been moving really under the law as it now stands and I think that's the proper way to do and we haven't try to invent anything new. We haven't tried to lay anything on them. We have not taken the role of proponents were opponents and I've been comfortable with that. I think it's been a very honest credible position. And for the commission to be in simply saying will Implement what you have and I think they're quite frankly surprised that we haven't been running up in the hill and trying to defend our own positions or the stadium actions because our position has been will tell you whatever we've done and be very honest with it and you take it from there. So that that's that's my assessment of our relationship with the legislature. Mr. Chairman. If I could give a once again done pause in testimony before the house tax committee where the repeal bill is presently located a couple of weeks ago. I did respond to a question from a Committee Member to the effect that the McGee the actual mechanics first of all the effect that the commission was in no way racing to issue bonds before the legislature could take action. Secondly that the simple mechanics of issuing those bonds and the things press it into the issuance of those bonds would dictate at that time that there was no way that those bonds could be sold before April 15th in view of what's transpired since then and in view of the fact that we won't have guaranteed maximum price has to satisfy the requirements of the law before the Metropolitan Council even that date is extended out somewhat so that the mechanical ability to issue bonds is out around May 1st to May 15 sometime in the month of May at the very earliest right now. So I really feel that they're in a Assurance of any sort has not been requested. But an assurance is really not necessary when one considers those mechanics of issuing bonds. Legislature hands time to do its thing is what I'm suggesting. I really do feel the The Cutting Edge in this home confused issue at this point is the fact that the twins have lately misrepresent (01:10:29) themselves to us as their financial base (01:10:34) considering they have had since October. I feel something should have been forthcoming. Excuse me at this point unless we give some sort of a deadline (01:10:42) even though it continued week-to-week negotiations. I do feel that they have to realize that this isn't going to go (01:10:48) on forever and that they have some sort of a frame reference of (01:10:51) time within which they can work. Other than that at some point. I think we (01:10:57) inadvertently become Guilty By Association. If we do continue in (01:11:00) this fashion, and I think we've always operated in the sound manner going on the facts and I feel (01:11:06) this has been distorted by the actions of the Twins and I frankly do resent it. I do feel they need some sort of a deadline commissioner Mary and Kenan believe that we need. The kind of rents that the economics of the financial predictions call for is he also convinced that there (01:11:27) isn't much to bargain with in terms of the revenues from the concessions or is that still a they still hoping that that is a (01:11:34) point where that can be pot of salted peanuts aware that we need what I call the aggregate Revenue. And so there's no room to bargain on the way we have established at now to we need to develop Revenue consistent with our early projections. Now if that Revenue came to us from some other source fine, but our position really has been let's take it from the tenants the way we made the projections and if they think they need Revenue let them get it from some other source. Let's keep the operation clean and in a good business like manner, so I think I think we've emphasized that sufficiently so that he's aware of it in negotiating they'd like us in anybody with us at wins or if you were doing any other type of negotiation. They like all I could get that's part of the process, but I think our Communications have been sufficient so they know that where we stand there's no question about that. Any other discussion (01:12:42) Sherman I wasn't at the last meeting in Redmond for the minutes. There was an update update on the status of the commission's proposal to the Met Council on December 1 about the 11 items to be satisfied before the Met council could approve the issuance of bonds. And namely you talk about the leases. What's the status of the TV black eye. (01:13:10) Our position in on the TV blackout is that it's in the law and it's something we don't have any control over when Vikings are the major party concerned about it. And we've said they have to find a solution to it. that they have to be willing to sign a 30-year lease the wave allies if they do not then we don't have a stadium the burden rest with them right now. There's no none that I know of none that I know of. I think you still end up with whether or not they change their mind whether or not they an amendment would be introduced and passed in the legislature. They have the grima's as I understand what private people to fully comply with the spirit of the law. By assuring that television would occur when 90% of the tickets are sold for the full 30 years. They have that but the one it would take a one sentence change in the law to achieve that and I don't know if that would be done. But there's no question about the spirit of it, but we can't we're not going to ask any Frank jeans (01:14:32) and you know, there's one other thing maybe I wasn't around at the time but we kind of glossed over the boxes and I was wondering what the status of that is, the law states that they must be sold 50% of must be sold so far. We haven't done anything on that how we (01:14:50) really know what we've done is the design that is has been presented to met Council does not have any boxes. So we've shown Revenue projections that will support the facility. Without having any boxes in it. Now we have optional design on it. If we wish to put them in we will achieve a rather healthy Revenue Source from that and the moment we are minimum expects and is what 400,000 years seven hundred thousand thousand dollars at the present time is pretty sure that we can develop and there have been some indications that we could probably even do better than that and that's that's where the status on that is. (01:15:35) Well, mr. Chairman as I understand it the intent of the law even though it's not mentioned states that there should be boxes in it and I would like to see that develop so that we make sure that we're going to have the necessary boxes and that they be sold before anything happens. (01:15:53) Mr. Chairman, perhaps I could respond it is that that issue has not been entirely entirely neglected. We have I have had Communications and With parties that are interested in in developing those boxes. We have that option versus the option of serving as our own developer. So I wish to assure you commissioner admin and I can't agree with you that that issue is not being overlooked and as part of the entire package the inclusion of boxes. I feel as a necessary ingredient ingredient day. It's an essential ingredient is a matter of fact, I'd be happy to bring that additional information to the commission on that. any other discussion If not, I will declare this meeting adjourned. We'll do it. Looks like we've we've had it to the he's all there's a just a discussion up there about when the next meeting will occur. They did not do anything precipitous this morning decided that they're going to continue with the negotiations and I guess that that comes as no great surprise in light of the conversation that that you had you in a number of other reporters had last night with Dan (01:17:01) Brucker, right and up until that point. It was really still in doubt. And of course till this morning it was in doubt somewhat, but the fact that Rutger was converted as someone might put it to do believe that the the twins can indeed come up with the money was certainly a key factor in this whole in this whole process if Brett had not been convinced he would have come in and said so and I think that would have had quite a bit of influence. I think it's interesting that the three commission members who chose to ask questions while the first three who asked questions were the three who voted against the dome stadium on December. Just random engage and Cannon commissioner solving primack also asked a question. But of course she was in favor of the Dome when they first made the decision. However, there was there was no proposal put on the floor to kill the project. They talked about setting a date a deadline for the twins to come up with some contract, but they didn't vote to vote to set a deadline either (01:18:02) think the the key point was it they'll continue the negotiations on a week-by-week basis and as Don postured and Rutger, I can't remember which put it will keep on going as long as there's a some indication of movement but not going to waste the commission's time and the team's Times by continuing with this if there isn't any sign of progress down Rutger in his initial presentation on this pointed out that the key thing that the commission is interested in is getting enough revenue from those leases and they're not particularly concerned if the twins have to get It from outside help and he also indicated that if we can't get what we need, we being the commission there will be no lease and no stadium and brecher said that doesn't bother me at all the twins going for outside help. He noticed his their business not the business of the twins Dale is up with chairman Brett go right now and let's go up for that (01:18:58) conversation Sherman Brett Kirk, you talked somewhat at this meeting about setting a deadline for the twins to come up with some kind of solid proposal to show they actually can get the money to pay the rent of the dome stadium. There was no motion to set a deadline though. I'm wondering now. Is there a deadline or isn't there? There is no no (01:19:17) specific deadline. I think it's been emphasized that there is an urgency. I indicate that something should happen within 30 days Allah does not specify any time that at least should be signed. So setting a deadline for say may be counterproductive, but (01:19:35) we feel that we ought to No, she ate very seriously and very intensely and with the hope of achieving cool Aces one from the Vikings and (01:19:44) 414 twins at an early date. Now that that date is one week from now two weeks and out for 30 days from now. I'm not sure that I would think that 30 days would be the outside Thailand. If (01:19:56) for some reason solid agreement isn't signed in 30 days. Is there something the twins could tell you which would make you want to continue beyond that point. (01:20:04) I don't know I doubt it very much because I think the Commissioners and myself feel that you have to get this process done it some time. Yeah. I don't want to (01:20:15) carry on forever. They know that you have to come (01:20:19) to a conclusion of some time. And (01:20:21) so I would I would say we better (01:20:24) achieve it in 30 days. He leave ourselves just a slight little opening there, but (01:20:29) very firm (01:20:30) on getting it done soon (01:20:34) a few weeks ago. You did come out with a statement that the twins could not afford to Play in any new stadium options brick after looking at their books and the the tenor of your remarks at that time was that if something didn't occur in just as you're saying now the option the well the whole plan might have to be drowned because of the law and the requirement that the twinsun 30-year lease yesterday you met with. Mr. Dorsey you came out of the meeting and said that you were convinced that they are moving towards getting some kind of agreement. Although really from what we could see and I'm talking about the reporters. Now, there wasn't anything new from mr. Dorsey beyond what he had said a week before that. They were talking to people in the private sector. Did you hear anything in that meeting beyond that fact that the suede? (01:21:21) Umm, no, I did not but that is rather substantial but his his belief that they can achieve outside support and by virtue of ticket sales and advertising sales he expressed. Very confident way and that made me believe that there is strong hope that we will achieve a 30 year lease. Okay. Thank (01:21:45) you very much. Dan Bricker the chairman of the Metropolitan Stadium (01:21:48) commission and then we'll go back across the room to Bob Potter. All right Dale thank you know, we're going to join in a conversation that reporters are having with representative or a Pharisee will have his liquor tax repeal bill before the house tax committee on this coming Friday (01:22:05) the taxpayers that there in fact will be money to pay the so-called obligations that the twins would have contracted for I don't it doesn't seem to make much sense. And I don't know what we're going to gain by waiting the time out we're going to we're going to still have a team signing a lease assumedly that everybody acknowledges on its own can't afford to be there. In (01:22:28) other words. The subsidy would have to remain doesn't change the liquor tax subsidy, you (01:22:32) know your well any text. I just affected almost assuming that what some of their figures are in the This were to happen. Now. We're even getting ourselves into and committing and finding out that some of the operating expenses may have to be picked up through some other kind of tax someplace down the line. Let's do you know, they're the liquor tax is geared to be the backup Bond service. Okay, that doesn't take operating expenses. And you know, I don't I don't know what the future holds for us as far what it's going to cost to operate any facility, but I'm getting very nervous that we're now talking about signing a lease with a with an entity that can't afford to be in there on its own and I think it may boat other problems for us not only on the bonds, but now just to maintain the thing once it's up. That's where (01:23:19) I'm it was do you think they'll be they'll have to come up with a 30-year guarantor? (01:23:24) Well, I'd love to see that if they're going to do it. I mean, they're better be somebody and you know, this is what I've been asking that the business Community come in and somehow get involved. So we wouldn't have to have the tax in the first place. They seem reluctant to do that now all of a sudden there. Supposedly coming in and coming in the back door and saying well the help the twins out, you know, if they're only going to help mod for a year or two years one of the persons whose runs one of the SNL's in town says he is willing to keep his contract with them. Well that's his statement today and then hoping that he's in good health for the next many years. Maybe we'll see that contract last the Whole 30 years but things change and I don't know that there's any guarantee to us or to the to the taxpayer that in fact those kind of contracts will continue five years from now 10 years from now and then then what happens do we find a team going down if it goes down? Yes, we have the right to hopefully get a new team in here. But if one team fails here, I'm wondering if others would be so anxious to jump in here and take over. That's what the politics for coming up on Friday. Now you are coming out of this meeting which you considered kind of a watershed for the whole situation, but yet nothing really significantly has changed. How will that impact Friday and tax committee? Well, I intend into Saturday Friday to discuss with the committee members exactly what we've just been talking about here and I'm sure at least mr. Poston probably. Mr. Brecker will be there. I think they've been asked by the chairman to be in attendance to back up some of the be available as resource persons. In other words. It's ours technical questions that they'd like to ask. I'm just going to point the same thing out that I just really don't know why we should be continuing to negotiate with somebody who can't afford to be there and leave it to the committee members to take it from that point on and ask that they that we go back to some kind of a drawing board. Look at some other Alternatives. Maybe perhaps come up with some language that allows the sports facilities. The commission to get off of its one commitment of December 1st, which is the only one they're allowed to do have made and I give them some options. I don't know if I'll be offering that but I suspect others will be that it in my mind. I think the twins really cannot be counted on in this facility and I think they maybe if I read mr. Ross's remarks correctly, maybe they could stay at the present met and then we would be back to the situation. What do we do about the Vikings? And I think the committee's very concerned about what happens to the Vikings. They they like football and I think they'd like to see the Viking stay around and whether or not they don't like to be sort of pressured by saying they're going to leave that that isn't the best politic I think up there but it is a fact of life and I'm sure their constituents want to continue to watch the Vikings on Sunday (01:26:20) afternoon. So will you were being lobbied here by Lyle Swartz cop and I presume that or at (01:26:25) least well, yeah, it wasn't a Lobby what I told while called me the other day and had Told me that there'd been some changes in the so-called patent bill. You remember at the last committee patent gave a sort of an overview and I said, well, I haven't seen it and he said well can we can I at least show you what it says and I said, well I'm going to be at this meeting this morning. Why don't you bring along your copies and just bring them over to me? So I can't even see what mr. Pat is talking about because as I understand Friday morning Bond counsel made some changes in the patent proposal to satisfy some of their concerns apparently, so I really hadn't even seen the language until here with about 10 minutes ago. What is different from the overview that patent presented in what Schwarzkopf has just shown? I have no chance really to go through it. He just was briefly telling me about about the proposal and I don't know what changes the bond counsel may have made. I don't think that patent even addressed some of the technical things and I think that's what was mr. Schwarzkopf was saying that there's been some technical changes in the the concept. I think the one thing I didn't hear. Patents say is that the blinking off and blinking on that occurs out with the Minneapolis tax if there isn't enough money, we revert back to the Metropolitan tax that supposedly in here. I don't think Patton said that I think he said that after 1981 approximately it was going to be all the Minneapolis Liquor on sale people that would be responsible for the tax and didn't mention the Metropolitan other folks at all. So I yeah so that at least he pointed out that there that's in this version that I've just been handed so I haven't had a chance to look and see how it works. But that that would be a change from what L talked about and I don't know if it's changed since he's talked about it or whether it's something he just didn't bring up at that time. (01:28:14) He said the tax committee people are football fans. Do you think that means that they will accept an amendment that would allow construction of an unknown stadium in Bloomington. (01:28:24) Well, I'm not going to speak for them. But my gut reaction is that I would think that It could happen this plane going out not having any basis of not talk to any of them about it, but I might just sort of my reaction. I sense that the Vikings of work their way well into the hearts of many of those committee members and I would be very surprised if such an alternative was available to them that they may not take it and say maybe this is the best way to go. (01:28:55) And that was St. Paul representative or a Pharisee the chairman or rather the chief author of the liquor tax repeal Bill and now back to Dale Connolly. (01:29:04) Thank you. Bob commissioner. Radmann. I'm wondering now after the meeting is over with you had your say during the meeting wondering if anything came to light during the meeting that that made you see things differently. How do you feel now about the Twins and their ability to pay to play in a dome stadium? Well our chairman and Don pause met yesterday with Darcy and I was representing the twins that time they indicated to us that There was some progress made and hopefully that the twins would be able to afford to pay the rent in a new dome stadium. But on December November 18th, they appeared before the commission here and emphatically stated Clark Griffis emphatic Lee stated that we will be willing to pay and we will go along with a dome stadium on December 1 after the decision was made cal grif was stated that they I don't think we can afford it. Now if they would have made these statements previous to December 1. I'm sure the commission would never have gone that route. Well awesome. Breca have been convinced that the twins are moving in the direction of getting some kind of settlement on their financial ability to play in Dumb. Have you heard anything either from possible Rutger or from someone with the twins organization to convince you with the same thing? There's nothing very nothing. I just hope as far as they're concerned. I see nothing in the concrete. That's no concrete proposals have been before us as a commissioner. What's going to be your point of view on this now as we move towards April 15th. Well, I'm going to keep asking questions and trying to get things going. Of course. I said on December 1 we're gonna lose a construction season and it seems like we're going to do that and if that happens When the darkness when the construction managers come up with a garden T at Max it's going to be over and above the bonding limitations. And that's the way it looks now that might happen supposedly our schedule stated that the bonds should be issued on March 1 leases with the twins and the Vikings should have been completed on January 15th. This is three and a half months after December 1 and we haven't made much Headway. Why didn't you suggest a firm deadline? Mr. Brecker is saying 30 days, but that's not really the commission position. That's just what he's saying. We took no official position and when I probably I should have made a motion at the time but Mary and also stated that main Cannon also stated that she thought there should be a firm deadline and I think I'm washing would have prevailed if it would have been made but we'll leave it in the chair. This hands right now. Do you think the stadium is going to be built the dome stadium? Loaded question. I know but do you think so. Well, there's so many things that are against it and talk to me next week. I'll tell you for sure. I'm not Friday though. The house may vote on the liquor tax might just have to worry about the rest of the things. Okay. Thank you very much Stadium commission member Richard. Ratan, Bob. (01:32:43) All right Dale and his mr. Edmund pointed out the next development in this Continuing Story occurs on Friday at 8:30 in the morning when the house tax committee meets to consider representative Pharisees Bill repealing the 2% back up liquor tax that concludes our live coverage from the Metropolitan council chambers in this meeting of the Metropolitan sports facilities commission along with Dale Conley. This is Bob Potter reporting the technical directors for the broadcast were Lynn Cruz and Linda Marie. This is Minnesota Public Radio a listener. supported service