Not that Opat is particularly carefree. "But we still have to be concerned about this," he continues. "The first step is determining a fair and reasonable cost for the land, but we also have to consider the cost of steel and concrete and everything that goes into infrastructure after that. If we wind up needing to spend more than $92 million, I don't know what will happen to make that work."
On many levels, building a new Twins stadium puts both the team and the county in relatively uncharted territory. "This far exceeds anything we've done. The county has never had to acquire any land of this magnitude," notes Marcia Wilda, Hennepin County's leasing and land management manager.
City Pages photo illustration
Imagine there's no footprint: Hennepin County owns only a slice of the stadium site to date; the Twins don't own any of it
Even Opat, whose indomitable optimism has fueled the stadium push from the beginning, concedes that "there are a lot of balls in the air on this and it is still very early in the process.... I don't think anybody is dragging their feet, but when you have a tight site, even the plusses like parking and mass transit bring a lot of complexity, from having to design and build around that too," he concludes. "It is a complicated site."